New York City Announces Vaccine Mandate for All Private Employers and Additional Expansions to Current Rules

December 6, 2021

Earlier today, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all private employers in New York City.  The mandatewhich is described as a “first-in-the-nation” policy and is expected to apply to about 184,000 businesseswill take effect on December 27, 2021.

At a press conference this morning, Mayor de Blasio stated that the new rules will require businesses to mandate that in-person employees have at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose by December 27, with no testing alternative.  The mandate will apply only to in-person employment (not to employees who are fully remote) and to businesses that employ at least one person.  The Mayor also clarified that the mandate will allow for exemptions based on valid medical or religious reasons.  On December 15, 2021, the City will issue detailed standards for the mandate, including additional guidance regarding enforcement and reasonable accommodations, as well as resources to support small businesses with implementation.  The Mayor’s announcement did not specify penalties for businesses that fail to enforce the mandate, but we expect this information to be released on December 15 or at a later date.

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