Cuomo Signs 9/11 Unlimited Sick Leave Bill

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has signed legislation to expand unlimited sick leave benefits for public sector officers and employees who developed a qualifying health condition as a result of their heroic response to the Sept. 11, 2001, rescue, recovery, and clean-up efforts at World Trade Center sites.

“On September 11, 2001, the best of humanity and the worst of humanity were displayed – the worst of us flew airplanes into the Twin Towers, while the best of us rushed inside to help their brothers and sisters without a second thought,” Cuomo said. “It is critical that we honor these courageous efforts and by signing this bill into law today, we make it clear that New York stands behind the first responders in their time of need just as they stood with New York on that tragic day 16 years ago. Our message is simple: we will always have your back.”

Under the bill (A7901A/S6398), individuals would be eligible for unlimited paid leave at 100 percent of their regular salary dating back to the time of their diagnosis.

Individuals would qualify for the benefit if they:

¯ Currently work for a municipality, public authority or state employer outside of New York City;

¯ Have filed a notice of participation in the World Trade Center clean-up and recovery efforts; and

¯ Have a qualifying World Trade Center health condition as defined by statute.

Similar paid leave benefits are currently available for New York Police Department, New York Fire Department, New York City Corrections and New York City Sanitation for injuries and illnesses obtained in the line of duty. Outside of New York City, municipalities provide similar line of duty coverage for their paid police officers and fire fighters.

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