New York City has, until now, stood apart from the rest of the country by holding tight to its mandate that all private businesses require their employees to be vaccinated if they are working in the office. Many employers will be pleased to learn of Mayor Eric Adams' recent announcement that, effective November 1, 2022, private businesses in the City will no longer be required to mandate their employees be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Employers in New York City – newly permitted to allow unvaccinated employees to work on their premises – will no longer be required to inquire about employees' and applicants' vaccination status. It is anticipated that many employers will lift their vaccination requirements. However, many may choose not to do so to protect the employees who are working in the office, and it appears clear that employers are legally permitted to retain those mandates. Of course, those employers that retain their vaccination mandates must remain mindful of the need to consider the requirements for employee and applicant accommodations under the federal, state, and local disability and religious discrimination laws.
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