What the NYC Vaccine Mandate Means for Your Business

What the NYC Vaccine Mandate Means for Your Business

If you do business in the city, you need to be aware of the latest major expansion to New York’s “Key to NYC” program. Just last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the first-in-the-nation vaccine mandate for private-sector workers which will take effect on December 27th, and will apply to roughly 184,000 businesses. This substantial change will surely impact contractors with upcoming jobs in the city.

“New York City will not give a single inch in the fight against COVID-19. Vaccination is the way out of this pandemic, and these are bold, first-in-the-nation measures to encourage New Yorkers to keep themselves and their communities safe,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Currently, only municipal employees are subject to a COVID-19 inoculation requirement, which took effect for most city workers in late October and prompted backlash from members of the FDNY, NYPD, and the city Department of Education. In response, a rep for Mayor-elect Eric Adams, who will take office Jan. 1, did not take a position on de Blasio’s controversial measure.

“The mayor-elect will evaluate this mandate and other COVID strategies when he is in office and make determinations based on science, efficacy and the advice of health professionals,” said spokesman Evan Thies.

Acceptable proof of vaccination includes a CDC-issued vaccination card, the New York State Excelsior Pass, the Clear Health Pass, and the NYC COVID Safe App. The city will issue additional enforcement and reasonable accommodation guidance on December 15th, along with additional resources to support small businesses with implementation. This mandate expansion follows recently announced vaccination mandates for City employees, childcare providers, and non-public school employees. Ninety-four percent of the City workforce is vaccinated.

As recently as December 10, Governor Kathy Hochul announced that employees and patrons of all New York businesses and worksites must wear a mask indoors effective December 13 unless the business implements a vaccine requirement. This new measure was announced to address a rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations and aims to curb outbreaks during the holiday season when more time is spent indoors and with crowds. Alternatively, employers can implement a vaccine mandate, requiring that all employees and customers present proof of vaccination in order to enter. Businesses that violate this measure face civil and criminal penalties, including fines of up to $1,000 per violation. The mandate will remain in effect through January 15, at which time the state will re-evaluate the conditions.

Our team is carefully tracking these developments and will continue to keep our clients informed through our upcoming thought leadership content. Questions or concerns? Our professional RBT team that specializes in construction clients is here to help, contact us today. Additionally, if you would like to submit feedback or topic ideas for future articles our team produces, please feel free to contact us at TLideas@rbtcpas.com.

Sources: NYC.GOV, Governor.NY.GOV