Mayor-elect Eric Adams has announced that he plans to keep New York City’s vaccine mandate in place once he takes office. Mayor-elect Adams, who is set to be sworn in as the City’s 110th mayor shortly after midnight on January 1, 2022, explained that his Winter 2022 COVID Plan will revolve around six “pillars,” including that the private sector mandate will remain in effect “with a focus on compliance, not punishment.” This is not markedly different from the approach taken by the current administration, which explained in recent interpretive guidance covering the mandate that the City intends on working with businesses to achieve compliance to avoid fines and penalties. While these sentiments might signal some willingness on the part of both administrations to give businesses flexibility in coming into compliance, they do not alter the concrete deadlines and requirements placed on employers by the mandate, which we covered here, and as we explained here, will remain effective regardless of whether OSHA’s vaccine or test rule is enforceable. We will continue to monitor for further developments on this issue.
Evan M. Piercey is an Associate at Mintz who litigates employment disputes before state and federal courts and administrative agencies. He also advises clients on a range of issues, including employment agreements and compliance with employment laws.
Michael Arnold is Chair of the firm's Employment, Labor & Benefits Practice. He is an employment lawyer who deftly handles a wide array of matters.