Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation on Thursday providing paid leave for prostate screenings to all public employees. The bill provides up to four hours of paid leave each year to undergo prostate cancer screenings.
"Prostate cancer affects thousands of New Yorkers each year, and early detection is key to mitigating its often devastating effects," Cuomo said. "I am proud to sign this legislation to help ensure all public employees can access life-saving screenings."
Current law allows this leave for all public employees, except for those who live in the City of New York. This amendment mirrors a component of the governor's 2016 Breast Cancer Insurance Program bill, that allows all public employees the same paid leave time to get breast cancer screenings.
Sen. Kemp Hannon said, "As prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in American men, and approximately one in seven will be diagnosed with this disease during their lifetime, I am heartened by expanding the ability of those men to get testing, to avert a harmful and potentially fatal condition. Early detection is the best chance individuals have in beating these far too prevalent cancers.
"Earlier this year, Gov. Cuomo signed into law provisions extending the excused leave for breast cancer screening to all civil service employees in the state, and I thank the governor for signing this important legislation that will ensure complete equity by also providing excused leave time for prostate cancer screenings to all of these workers."
Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz said, "Every year nearly 15,000 men in New York State are diagnosed with prostate cancer, and almost 1,700 die from the disease. Very simply, this law puts New York City employees on an equal basis with New York State employees, and has the potential to save thousands of lives in the years to come.
"Though there is much we don't know about cancer, one of the few things the medical community is absolutely certain of, is that early detection yields more positive treatment results. It is my expectation that this law will foster greater accessibility to prostate screenings for city employees, and I also applaud Gov. Cuomo for his leadership in advocating for breast cancer screenings across New York State."