NEW YORK (AP) – New York City’s broad mandate requiring nearly all private sector companies to ban unvaccinated employees from the workplace went into effect Monday amid an outbreak of coronavirus infections.
Workers at around 184,000 companies had to prove that they had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by Monday. Businesses that don’t comply could face fines starting as low as $ 1,000, but Mayor Bill de Blasio said imposing penalties would be a last resort.
Mayor: The mandates are working
The Democratic mayor said at a press conference on Monday that warrants had worked to get people vaccinated.
“We have to double down because one thing we can all agree on… COVID is bad for humans, it’s bad for our health, but it’s also bad for business. And if we are to avoid closures, and I think we must, we need more and more people to be vaccinated. “
Some business owners and workers are considering a legal challenge, said Louis Gelormino, a Staten Island lawyer. He said they would argue that the city violates the constitutional rights of business owners and workers to earn a living and that New York City does not have the power to impose vaccination warrants on businesses in the sector. private, although such requirements already exist for restaurants, bars, theaters, gymnasiums and other indoor gathering places.
What will the new mayor do?
And it’s not clear whether mayor-elect Eric Adams, who takes office on January 1, will keep or change the term.
Now, many other private employers will need to check and keep track of each worker’s proof of COVID-19 vaccination. Workers who have only had one injection will need to get a second within 45 days. Businesses are required to display a sign stating that they are complying with the “in a conspicuous place” rule, under the City’s mandate.
Companies are not required to discipline or fire non-compliant workers, but they must keep them out of the workplace. Workers seeking accommodation on religious grounds can come to work while their request is pending.
The new rules cover private places where work is carried out in the presence of another worker or a member of the public. This includes not only stores, but shared workspaces and taxis, as required.
“Hopefully the city will work hard to enforce this as this is a new mandate – it will definitely require some transition – and employers are currently facing a myriad of other challenges,” Randy said. Peers, president of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.
Kathryn Wylde, chair of the New York City Partnership, a business group representing some of the city’s largest employers, said city inspectors may struggle to enforce the edict. She said she hopes the Adams administration will show flexibility in enforcement.
“The biggest employers I’ve heard of – literally dozens and dozens of other large employers – have been concerned about fulfilling the mandate. The timing was very short, ”said Wylde.
Vaccinations are already mandatory in the city for workers in hospitals and nursing homes and for city employees, including teachers, police and firefighters.
At the same time, the state has reduced the time healthcare and other essential workers must stay home after testing positive for COVID-19. Governor Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, announced Friday that these workers can return to work in five days, instead of 10, if they are fully vaccinated, have no symptoms, or their symptoms go away and are they wear masks at work.
State officials have said they are trying to avoid staff shortages in critical jobs while also trying to control the explosive spread of the virus.
“This is not about sacking sick people to work,” state health commissioner Mary Bassett said at a press conference Monday.
“People who are sick at all times should not be at work, and especially at such times. “