NYC to End Private Employer COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate on November 1, 2022

Cooley LLP

On September 20, 2022, New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced that the city will end its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for private employers on November 1. Adams stated that lifting the mandate now “puts the choice in the hands of New York businesses” as to whether to require employee vaccination, subject to accommodations for religious or medical reasons. The city’s vaccine mandate for municipal employees, however, remains in effect.

Since December 2021, under former Mayor Bill de Blasio, the city had required private employers who maintained a workplace in New York City to prohibit the entry of any unvaccinated workers to work at that workplace, subject to accommodations for medical or religious reasons. The mandate broadly applied to any employee, intern, volunteer or contractor, and to any workplace where work was performed in the presence of other workers or the public. Private employers also were required to verify workers’ proof of vaccination and comply with various record keeping and posting obligations.

Next steps

After November 1, New York City employers should re-evaluate their COVID-19 protocols and policies. Employers should determine whether a mandate is necessary for their workplace, and the extent to which they will require employees to return to the office or implement a hybrid work policy.

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