September 29, 2022

Volume XII, Number 272

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No More COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate for New York City’s Private Sector

Beginning November 1, 2022, New York City private sector employees will no longer be subject to the COVID-19 vaccination mandate.

Mayor Eric Adams announced on September 20, 2022, that private employers in New York City will be able to make their own decisions on whether to require their employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to report to work effective November 1. Until that date, the mandate remains in effect and, subject to accommodations (general and practical medical and religious accommodations), a New York City private sector employer cannot permit an unvaccinated employee to work in a New York City facility. Although the City will eliminate the vaccine mandate for the private sector, Mayor Adams and the City Department of Health and Hygiene Commissioner encourage employers to maintain vaccine policies once the vaccine mandate is lifted.

Beginning December 27, 2021, the New York City Department of Health required all public and private sector employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide proof of vaccination to their employers prior to entering the workplace or performing in-person work in New York City. To date, New York City is the only jurisdiction that continues to maintain an all-encompassing private sector vaccine mandate.

While vaccinations against COVID-19 for the private sector will no longer be required by New York City, until further notice, the public sector will continue to be subject to the vaccine mandate. Mayor Adams’s announcement was met with dissatisfaction from City employees as they risk discipline for noncompliance with the New York City vaccine mandate.

Although it is unclear, absent further mayoral action, it appears the New York City contractor and social services mandates will remain in place. Under these mandates, the most recent being September 13, 2021, all private sector employees working under a City contract that interacted with the public or City employees were required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, subject to medical and religious accommodations. The mandate took effect even earlier (August 16, 2021) for those contract employees working in residential and congregate settings pursuant to a City contract.

In light of the latest announcement, private sector employers should consider both employee relations and legal implications should the business choose to eliminate a mandate. Employers, of course, should continue to be aware that the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) creates a continuing obligation for employers to maintain a healthy and safe workplace for their employees.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2022National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 264
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About this Author

Richard Greenberg, Jackson Lewis, workplace grievances lawyer, arbitrations litigation attorney
Principal

Richard Greenberg is a Principal in the New York City, New York, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He advises both unionized and union-free clients on a full-range of labor and employee relations matters.

With respect to traditional labor matters, Mr. Greenberg represents clients in collective bargaining negotiations, labor disputes, grievances and arbitrations, proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board, and in state and federal court. Mr. Greenberg also advises clients on the legal aspects of remaining union-free....

212-545-4080
Jenifer Bologna Employment Lawyer Jackson Lewis
Of Counsel

Jenifer Bologna is Of Counsel in the White Plains, New York, office of Jackson Lewis P.C.

Ms. Bologna has extensive experience counseling employers on a variety of employment law issues. Ms. Bologna specializes in assisting employers in meeting the legal and practical challenges posed by federal and state laws protecting injured and ill employees, the most notable being the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act. In addition to counseling and training employers, Ms. Bologna represents management in workplace litigation in both...

914-872-6869
Associate

Henry S. Shapiro is an Associate in the Long Island, New York, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. His practice focuses on representing employers in workplace law matters, including preventive advice and counsel.

While attending law school, Mr. Shapiro was the Senior Articles Editor for the Hofstra Law Review and he became a certified mediator in New York State. Mr. Shapiro completed a Concentration in Labor & Employment Law while in law school.

Prior to joining Jackson Lewis, Mr. Shapiro was an Associate at a Long Island...

631-247-4651
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