The NYS Senate Civil Service and Pensions Committee passed S.3152, sponsored by Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr., providing New York state employees with a maximum of eight hours excused annual leave for cancer screening.
“Providing additional time off from work will encourage more individuals to get screened for all types of cancer, leading to early detection and improved health,” Addabbo said. “If you haven’t lost a friend or family member to cancer, you likely know someone who has gone through treatment. Providing employees just eight hours for screening, equal to an average workday, could prove to be a benefit for a much longer, healthy lifetime,” added Addabbo.
Approximately 600,000 people die from some type of cancer every year but early detection has helped significantly lower cancer mortality rates. Treatment, survivorship and reduction of costs all greatly benefit from early detection, but working men and women often lack the opportunity or incentive to undertake the necessary screening.
In their letter of support, NYSUT stated, “the passage and enactment of this legislation would ensure that New York State is taking sensible steps to protect its employees in the fight against cancer by providing ample excused leave time for employees to undertake cancer screening.”
AFL-CIO also supports this legislation.
Another bill (S.3944), co-sponsored by Addabbo and passed by the Senate Civil Service and Pensions Committee, extends accidental disability retirement benefits to corrections officers, deputy sheriff patrol officers and their corresponding supervisors who develop heart trouble as a result of work, unless there is evidence to contradict the finding.
“The physical demands placed on these hard working men and women deserves to be recognized and should automatically qualify them for the same benefits we currently extend to our first responders,” Addabbo said.