Another all COVID-19 edition! In unsurprising news, New York has some new COVID-19 rules in effect. Mandatory vaccinations for all private employers, plus mask mandates – Happy Holidays all!
You get a shot! You get a shot! You get a shot! (… or else)
Unfortunately, Mayor de Blasio hasn’t gifted all of us brand new Pontiac G6’s, but instead we now have new guidance on New York City’s recent COVID-19 vaccine mandate for ALL private employers. That’s right folks, effective December 27, 2021, all employees have to get jabbed. Here’s what the latest guidance has to say:
- All NYC employees (and independent contractors) who perform “in-person” work or otherwise interact with the public must show proof that they received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine before being allowed to come to work. That’s pretty much everyone in the city, unless you’re 100% remote.
- Employees must show proof of a second COVID-19 dose (if applicable) within 45 days of their first dose. A booster is not required for employees to be considered fully vaccinated. (At least not yet).
- “Workplace” means any place where you work in the presence of at least one other person (including cars – yes, seriously).
- Employers must verify and keep a record of their employees’ vaccinations by December 27. They can do so by: (1) obtaining a copy of their employees’ proofs of vaccinations or reasonable accommodation (with backup); (2) creating their own record with all relevant information (i.e., employees’ names, dates of vaccinations, and deadline to provide proof of second dose); or (3) checking proof of vaccination every day that employees come to work and keeping a record of each verification. This is going to be tricky.
- Businesses must complete a certificate affirming they are in compliance and post in a public place by December 27.
What about reasonable accommodations for medical or religious reasons? Unlike some recent buzz to the contrary, it appears from the guidance that this new rule will have a test-out option (specifically, at least a weekly PCR test) for those who cannot obtain a COVID-19 vaccine for medical or religious reasons, as well as the option to provide a leave of absence.
We’re sure this isn’t the last we’re hearing of this, so stay tuned for updates.
Good news for those of you tired of faking smiles in public
As of December 13 and pursuant to New York’s recent mask mandate, masks are now required in all indoor public places for all building occupants (this means everyone – employees, patrons, etc.), unless proof of vaccination is provided. Proof of vaccination means that the building can verify that everyone entering the space has been fully vaccinated, using any of the following: Excelsior Pass, SMART Health cards, or a CDC vaccination card (once again, “fully vaccinated” does not mean booster . . . yet). Businesses who fail to comply with the vaccination and mask mandates will get a lump of coal in their stocking, and a $1,000 fine for each violation.
NYC business owners: it’s probably time to get yourself a vaccination bouncer and have them check the guest list, twice.
Be safe and, as always, if you’ve got questions – you know we’ve got answers.
Damien + Brian
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Established in 2019, New York City-based Weinstein + Klein is a boutique law firm focused on labor and employment law, business matters, and litigation. Weinstein + Klein works with businesses, individuals, and entrepreneurs to protect their legal interests. In addition to advising clients on employment matters and working with businesses to minimize their risk of litigation, Weinstein + Klein advises small businesses and start-ups on various business law matters. For more information about Weinstein + Klein, please visit www.weinsteinklein.com.