Leave for Cancer Screening and Blood Donation

April 2018

Under New York State Law, employees are entitled to take leave time for breast cancer, prostate cancer or cancer screenings and blood donations provided the screening or donation is performed during work hours.

For breast cancer, prostate cancer or cancer screenings, employees are entitled up to four hours of paid leave, including travel time, in a calendar year.  This leave is not cumulative and shall be forfeited if not used in a calendar year. Any absence for this purpose beyond four hours must be charged to the employee’s annual leave accruals, or without pay if no annual leave accrual is available.

Text of NYS Civil Service Law, section 159-b (paid leave for purpose of breast cancer and cancer screening)

Text of NYS Civil Service Law, section 159-c (paid leave for purpose of prostate cancer screening)

For blood donation, NYS law mandates that employers provide leave time to an employee, defined as “a person who performs services for hire for an average of twenty or more hours per week”, for the purpose of donating blood.  There are two instances where employees are permitted to take leave for blood donating purposes:

  • Employees are allowed at least one unpaid leave period of three hours per calendar year during the work schedule for a donation at an off-premises location.
  • Employees are allowed at least twice in any calendar year, to take paid leave for blood donation on a college’s premises or a location designated by the college.  The location and time shall be within reasonable travel distance and within the employee’s normal work hours.

In addition, all such employees must be allowed sufficient paid leave time to donate blood and to recover, including parking, nourishment after donation and to return to work.

Text of Labor Law Section 202-j (mandated leave time for the purpose of donating blood)