New York City (NYC) will require all private sector employees to get at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by Dec. 27, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Dec. 6.
De Blasio said that the COVID-19 vaccine mandate in NYC will be extended to include private sector employees as the best way to avoid a return to a shutdown of businesses and other public events.
Public sector employees are already required to get vaccinated.
The mandate will apply to roughly 184,000 businesses, according to a statement.
De Blasio said that details about how the rules will apply to businesses, as well as additional resources to support small businesses, will be announced on Dec. 15.
De Blasio added that NYC will hold discussions with businesses about the enforcement of the mandate and accommodate guidance.
De Blasio did not disclose the penalty for businesses that do not enforce the mandate.
The announcement came as a surprise to business leaders because there was no “heads up.”
“We were blindsided. There’s no forewarning, no discussion, no idea about whether it’s legal or who he expects to enforce it,” Kathryn Wylde, president and Chief Executive of influential business group Partnership for New York City, said, according to Emma Fitzsimmons of the New York Times.
Wylde told CNN that although NYC employers are not against vaccine mandates, they do not want to be “enforcement agents.”
NYC Council Minority Leader Joe Borelli said on Twitter that he planned to legally challenge the mandate.
“We will have a lawsuit through our attorney partners ready to go as soon as the mandate is implemented, if not sooner,” Borelli said.
Meanwhile, Greater New York Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Helena Natt praised the mandate as the “next step” that needs to be done.
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