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Outgoing NYC Mayor Mandates Covid Vaccines for Private-Sector Workers

The mandate could cover as many as 3.6 million private sector jobs and is scheduled to take effect less than a week before the current mayor leaves office.
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Lame duck, outgoing New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio issued a mandate Monday requiring private-sector workers in the the city be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. 

The new mandate is scheduled to into effect three weeks from Monday on December 27, just days before the two-term mayor leaves office and is replaced by Eric Adams. 

“We’ve got Omicron as a new factor. We’ve got the colder weather, which is going to really create additional challenges with the Delta variant. We’ve got holiday gatherings,” de Blasio said on MSNBC Monday. 

How Many Workers Does This Impact?

There are about 3.6 million private-sector jobs in the city of more than 8 million, the Wall Street Journal reported. 

de Blasio also mandated that children ages 5 through 11 will also need to provide proof of vaccination for indoor dining, entertainment and fitness facilities. 

“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,” Evan Thies, a spokesman for Adams, said in a statement Monday, according to the Journal. 

De Blasio's edict follows the lead of U.S. President Joe Biden, whose administration recently issued a mandate for employers with at least 10 employees to require vaccinations against Covid-19 or weekly negative tests and masks in the workplace. 

A federal appeals court has temporarily blocked the mandate, however, citing "grave statutory and constitutional issues."

How Will This Be Enforced?

As of September 13, 2021, an establishment found to be non-compliant may be subject to a fine of $1,000. Repeated violations may result in increased fine amounts or other enforcement action, based on the original "Key to NYC" legislation that was launched in August. 

On a practical basis, given the transition to a new mayor and the timeframe, this new proclamation likely won't have a major impact or lead to significant enforcement. It does, however, give employers some cover with their employees if they want to enforce the rules while being able to say they're taking their lead from the mayor.