New York City released advice for companies before the start date of its COVID-19 vaccination mandate in the private sector, on December 27.
The private sector’s vaccination mandate is the first in the country without the possibility of regular screening for coronaviruses. While previous mandates on vaccines for municipal workers have been regularly challenged in court, especially by unions, companies have so far not pursued the new mandate.
Currently, more than 90% of all residents of New York City have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to city data.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said he believes the corporate mandate will increase immunization levels.
“We saw that every time we put in place a mandate, it was the decisive factor in getting a lot of people moving,” de Blasio said at a press conference on Wednesday.
The mandate guidelines require that all employees of private companies submit proof of at least one dose of vaccine by Dec. 27, and that employers keep a complete record of the immunization status of their workers.
Businesses will have a full vaccination certificate that they can display, similar to a certificate already available to restaurants, gyms, and entertainment venues that need to verify customers’ proof of vaccination as part of the Key to NYC program. Companies are also required to make their vaccination records available to municipal inspectors.
De Blasio said his administration had met with dozens of Business Improvement Districts, chambers of commerce and other professional associations before the start of the term.
“We want a cooperative and positive approach,” he said. “The goal is not to penalize. The point is just to make it work.
Fines for warrant violation start at $ 1,000 per proceeding.
“We can intensify this intensely if we see a pattern of willful refusal to follow the law,” de Blasio said.
Still, de Blasio added that the city has not seen widespread fines needed for the Key to NYC program’s vaccination requirement.
As of early December, the city had inspected more than 52,000 businesses under Key to NYC, according to a To analyse of the New York Times, imposing only 31 fines of $ 1,000 each.
Companies are required to verify proof of reasonable accommodation for employees requesting religious or medical exemption for immunization. The city will be on the lookout for companies that may have allowed such falsely exemptions, said Georgia Pestana, the city’s legal counsel.
“If there is any concern that the process was not done well, or that there is not even a process, of course we have the right to step in and make sure that the process is well done, ”said de Blasio.