January 03, 2018 New Amendment to the Law Governing Leaves of Absence for Cancer Screening
KEEPING YOU INFORMED…
We are writing to advise you of a recent amendment to New York Civil Service Law (“CSL”) §§ 159-b and 159-c regarding leaves of absence for prostate and breast cancer screenings.
CSL § 159-b currently entitles almost all public sector employees to take a paid leave of absence “for a sufficient period of time, not to exceed four hours on an annual basis” for breast cancer screening. CSL § 159-c entitles most public sector male employees to take up to an additional four-hour paid leave of absence for a prostate cancer screening.
The amendment to the CSL, which was signed into law by Governor Cuomo on December 18, 2017, and which will take effect on or about March 18, 2018, provides two significant changes to the existing laws referenced above. First, CSL § 159-c will be repealed in its entirety. Second, CSL § 159-b will be modified to provide a paid leave of absence of up to four hours annually for any (not just for breast cancer) type of cancer screening. This means, in essence, that employees will have four (not eight) hours of annual paid leave to undergo a cancer screening, the scope of which will be extended beyond prostate and breast cancer.
The law continues to require that the leave of absence be paid and excused, and not charged against any leave for which the employee is otherwise entitled. You should check your collective bargaining agreement(s), if any, to determine whether your employees are, or will be, contractually entitled to a greater benefit than provided by law.
If you have any questions regarding leaves of absence for cancer screenings, please contact Alyssa Zuckerman or one of our other attorneys by calling (631) 694-2300.
THIS MEMORANDUM IS MEANT TO ASSIST IN GENERAL UNDERSTANDING OF THE CURRENT LAW. IT IS NOT TO BE REGARDED AS LEGAL ADVICE. THOSE WITH PARTICULAR QUESTIONS SHOULD SEEK THE ADVICE OF COUNSEL.
© Lamb & Barnosky, LLP 2018
 Including public officers; State employees; employees of a county, community college, public authority, public benefit corporation, BOCES, vocational education and extension board, school district or municipality; employees of participating employers in the New York State and local employees’ retirement system; employees of participating employers in the New York State teachers’ retirement system; and employees of cities with a population of one million or more.