This morning, Mayor Bill de Blasio released details on the looming private sector vaccine mandate set to go into effect starting Dec. 27.
All private sector employees who work in-person or have to interact with the public while working must show proof to their employers that they have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Those who are not fully vaccinated will then have 45 days to show proof of their second dose.
When the mandate goes into effect, businesses will not be permitted to have unvaccinated employees come into the workplace.
“This is the boldest action in the nation. It is very, very consistent with what we’re dealing with right now because we have powerful new threats. We have to answer them,” de Blasio said Wednesday morning. “We cannot be too late to omicron. This new variant moves fast. We have to move faster.”
All businesses will be required to verify and keep a record of each worker’s proof of vaccination. There are a few ways businesses can do this, all of which are outlined in new city guidance and detailed in the image below.
Non-employee workers, including contracted workers, must also provide proof of vaccination to their employers. Businesses are also responsible with keeping track of non-employee workers’ vaccination records.
De Blasio has made it clear that the city wants to take a cooperative, positive approach to enforcing the measure. However, if businesses do not comply, they face fines of up to $1,000, which escalate if the problem persists.
“The goal is not to penalize,” explained de Blasio. “The goal is to simply make this work. If a business does not comply, if they refuse to comply … there are penalties. They start at a low level and they grow if there still isn’t compliance. But that is not the goal.”
The new mandate also applies to co-working spaces, such as WeWork and similar businesses. The co-working spaces are responsible for checking and keeping track of each individual worker’s vaccination status.
There are a few exceptions to the new mandate. People who work from home and do not have in-person contact with other employees are not required to be vaccinated. Neither are people who enter a workplace briefly for a limited purpose, like using the bathroom, non-New York City resident performing artists, college or professional athletes, and anyone with them, or those who have requested reasonable accommodations for medical or religious reasons. More information on what qualifies a reasonable accommodation is available here.
“Our private sector vaccine mandate is a preemptive strike. We’ve seen a #COVID19 resurgence across the globe. The reason we’ve held the line? Vaccinations. The private sector wants our city to come back stronger than ever. This is the key,” de Blasio tweeted on Wednesday morning.
For more information, check out the city’s Frequently Asked Questions page.
If you’re a local business owner interested in talking with Bushwick Daily about how the mandate impacts your business, reach out to [email protected].
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