Cuomo Turns Hudson Valley DJ’s Idea Into New Mandate
Governor Cuomo just announced a new mandate that may sound familiar to Hudson Valley radio listeners.
Now listen, the last thing I want to do is to take credit for something Governor Cuomo has done. But you have to admit, his latest announcement does sound very much like something I was ranting about earlier this year.
On March 11 I was sitting in the WPDH studio trying to host a radio show when the effects of my COVID-19 vaccine started to kick in. I immediately felt achy, sore and completely exhausted. Maybe it was fatigue or just being fed up with having to deal with the pandemic for an entire year, but I began to criticize our company for not offering time off to get myself vaccinated in order to protect me and my coworkers.
For the past year, our company has sent their praise and thanks to its on-air staff for putting themselves at risk to come into the studio every day, broadcasting maskless in a room with others just to make sure the Hudson Valley has been informed and entertained. But now, when I'm finally able to get myself a potentially life-saving vaccine, I'm left to fend for myself.
What really angered me was that my job is a cakewalk when compared to the real front-line workers who have been at the greatest risk for COVID-19. Many of those jobs are physically demanding and require a lot more effort than talking into a microphone and hitting buttons. The thought that they would have to choose between recovering from a vaccine and getting paid made my blood boil.
Hudson Valley business owners have been saluting their workers and using them in warm and fuzzy commercials, but talk is cheap. If you really want to show your employees how grateful you are to them for getting you through the past year, make sure they don't have to decide between getting paid and protecting themselves and their families.
While the article I wrote gained lots of support from essential workers, employers weren't as enthusiastic. Many local business owners said that their employees should just "suck it up" and complained that they were already hurting from the pandemic and shouldn't have to bear the burden of those who chose to get vaccinated.
Well, thanks to an announcement from Governor Cuomo, those business owners no longer have a choice. I'm happy to say that here in the Hudson Valley all employers will now be forced to give workers a paid day of leave if they suffer from COVID-19 vaccine side effects.
On Thursday Cuomo announced new guidance for employers.
Some studies have shown that there are individuals avoiding their shot out of fear of missing work the next day. I want to be crystal clear--no New Yorker will miss a day's pay because of getting the vaccine. The Department of Labor will be issuing guidance to all employers reminding them that in the unlikely event someone needs time off after experiencing side effects, by law, that is considered a paid sick leave day.
This is great news for employees and, honestly, is the least they can do for their employees who have put themselves on the line for those business owners during the pandemic. It's sad that these companies have to be forced to do right by their workers, but at least it's finally happening.