New York City (NYC) mayor Bill de Blasio announced a vaccine mandate for private NYC employers, which is effective on December 27, 2021.
All private, NYC employers, regardless of size and industry are covered by the mandate. NYC is composed of five boroughs: Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island. Employers in these boroughs would need to comply.
What Does the Mandate Require?
All employees at a covered business in NYC must have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by December 27, 2021. It is currently unclear if the mandate will permit testing as an alternative to vaccination.
The mandate would likely not apply to remote employees, but it is still unclear if the mandate will exempt fully remote workers and those who work exclusively outside NYC.
Employees may also be exempted from the mandate for medical or religious reasons.
Next Steps for Employers
Further details of the mandate are expected to be released on December 15, according to the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Once the city’s guidance is released, employers should carefully review it in order to take applicable steps to implement the mandate and communicate the requirements to impacted employees.
The mandate is likely to face legal challenges, but the mayor expressed confidence that the mandate will survive any legal challenges it faces because it is “consistent and universal.”
HR Works will continue to monitor this topic and provide updated information as it becomes available.