More Cuts to NYC’s COVID-19 Restrictions

26 September 2022 Labor & Employment Law Perspectives Blog
Author(s): Jacqueline A. Hayduk

On September 20, 2022, New York City (“NYC”) Mayor Eric Adams announced that the City’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement for private sector employees will terminate on November 1, 2022. The private sector vaccine mandate took effect in December 2021, shortly before former Mayor Bill de Blasio left office. At the time, the mandate was one of the most far-reaching local actions in the United States, as it applied to approximately 184,000 businesses with employees who perform work in NYC.

NYC’s recent trend of relaxing COVID-19 restrictions

In 2022, the trend in NYC and across the state of New York has been to relax various COVID-19-related restrictions. After taking office in January 2022, Mayor Adams ended several COVID-19 safeguards, such as requiring restaurant patrons and concert attendees to present proof of vaccination, and face mask mandates at schools. Further, although not formally rescinded, the City has not been stringently enforcing the vaccine mandate for private sector employees, and even made an exception for NYC’s professional athletes in March 2022. Similarly, at the state level, New York Governor Kathy Hochul removed the public transit mask mandate in early September 2022.

What restrictions are still in place?

Although the private sector vaccine mandate is one of the last remaining NYC restrictions of the pandemic, there are a few others that remain in place. The mandatory COVID-19 vaccination requirement for city government employees, including law enforcement, teachers, and sanitation workers, will remain in effect. Further, health care workers are still required to be vaccinated under state law.

Mayor Adams has been enforcing the public sector vaccine mandate, which has resulted in more than 1,750 NYC workers being terminated as of September 14, 2022.  NYC’s public sector employees have become increasingly frustrated by the selective enforcement of the City’s vaccine mandate.

What’s next?

The controversy regarding the public sector vaccine mandate will likely come to a resolution in the near future. Last year a NYC law enforcement officer filed suit against the City, challenging the public sector vaccine mandate.  The case quickly made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which will be hearing the law enforcement officer’s challenge to the public sector vaccine requirement on October 7, 2022.

Conclusion

The continued relaxation of various COVID-19 restrictions is an encouraging sign that the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic is behind us. However, businesses should continue to evaluate their COVID-19 response plans based on their individual business needs, state and local law, and employee well-being. We recommend monitoring whether any states or municipalities in which your business operates have recently updated COVID-19-related restrictions. If this has occurred, and we can be of assistance to you or your company, please contact your Foley attorney to be directed to the appropriate resource.

This blog is made available by Foley & Lardner LLP (“Foley” or “the Firm”) for informational purposes only. It is not meant to convey the Firm’s legal position on behalf of any client, nor is it intended to convey specific legal advice. Any opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Foley & Lardner LLP, its partners, or its clients. Accordingly, do not act upon this information without seeking counsel from a licensed attorney. This blog is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Communicating with Foley through this website by email, blog post, or otherwise, does not create an attorney-client relationship for any legal matter. Therefore, any communication or material you transmit to Foley through this blog, whether by email, blog post or any other manner, will not be treated as confidential or proprietary. The information on this blog is published “AS IS” and is not guaranteed to be complete, accurate, and or up-to-date. Foley makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, as to the operation or content of the site. Foley expressly disclaims all other guarantees, warranties, conditions and representations of any kind, either express or implied, whether arising under any statute, law, commercial use or otherwise, including implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Foley or any of its partners, officers, employees, agents or affiliates be liable, directly or indirectly, under any theory of law (contract, tort, negligence or otherwise), to you or anyone else, for any claims, losses or damages, direct, indirect special, incidental, punitive or consequential, resulting from or occasioned by the creation, use of or reliance on this site (including information and other content) or any third party websites or the information, resources or material accessed through any such websites. In some jurisdictions, the contents of this blog may be considered Attorney Advertising. If applicable, please note that prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Photographs are for dramatization purposes only and may include models. Likenesses do not necessarily imply current client, partnership or employee status.

Related Services

Insights

What’s Next for Blockchain and Crypto?
01 December 2022
Innovative Technology Insights
Case Law Update: Disputes Relating to Supply Chain Disruptions Hit the Courts
01 December 2022
Manufacturing Industry Advisor
Foley Partner André Thiollier Moderates Global Venture Market Session at BayBrazil Conference
01 December 2022
Foley Ignite
Podcast Episode 96: Eric Williams, Associate
01 December 2022
Foley Career Perspectives
What You Should Know About Payor/Provider Convergence
25-26 January 2023
Los Angeles, CA
ATA EDGE2022 Policy Conference | American Telemedicine Association
7-9 December 2022
Washington, D.C.
CLE Weeks
5-16 December 2022
Milwaukee, WI
Foley Sponsors Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® Program
1 December 2021 - 30 November 2022
Michigan and Northwest Ohio Region