Wolf administration adds 5 days paid leave for vaccinated government employees

National News

(AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

HARRISBURG — On Monday, the Wolf Administration announced additional paid leave for commonwealth employees who have received the COVID-19 vaccine.

This added paid time off falls under Governor Tom Wolf’s jurisdiction for reasons related to COVID-19 and to encourage vaccination. It is available from now through the month of March.

“Each day, millions of people rely on critical programs and services delivered by commonwealth employees,” said Secretary of Administration Michael Newsome. “As one of the largest employers in Pennsylvania, we want to make sure our workers have the resources they need to be safe and healthy and be an example to other businesses to follow. Most of our employees, approximately two-thirds, have worked in-person throughout the pandemic and continue to do so.”

Paid Leave for Being Vaccinated

Eligible employees who have received both doses of a CDC-approved two-dose COVID-19 vaccine or one dose of single-dose vaccine by Dec. 31 can take up to five days of paid time off (Verification Leave) between Dec. 20 and March 31, 2022.

Employees will not have to wait 14 days after their last dose to be considered vaccinated for the purposes of receiving the incentive. Any Verification Leave unused by March 31, 2022, will be paid as a lump sum. Any employee who has already verified their vaccination status to receive this paid day off will automatically receive the incentive.

The additional leave is also available to eligible management/non-represented employees and represented employees (regardless of membership) whose unions agree to participate.

Extension of COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave

Unused COVID-19 emergency paid sick leave for government employees is being extended to June 30, 2022, due to the ongoing pandemic. Employees may use this leave if they come into contact with or caring for someone who has come into contact with COVID-19, or if they receive quarantine or isolation orders or experience symptoms of COVID-19.

The paid sick leave can also apply to any government employee experiencing side effects of COVID-19 vaccine inoculations.

As of Friday, Oct. 29, more than 71.6 percent of Pennsylvanians 18 and older are fully vaccinated, with the state ranking fifth among all 50 states for total doses administered.

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