Vaccine mandates have gone into effect for all New York City employees, and while exceptions and accommodations are available, those requests are going to be carefully scrutinized. If you’re employed full-time or part-time by a private company in New York City, you’re going to need to prove you’ve been vaccinated, or make immediate plans to get vaccinated. Otherwise, you won’t be permitted to show up at work.
What does this mean for your Harlem co-op?
If you hire a doorman or a building superintendent, you’ll need to ask for proof of vaccination. Even volunteers and contractors are required to comply with this mandate, so your board members will need documented vaccination status as will any of the contractors you hire to come into the building to perform work.
Let’s take a look at some of the particulars as they apply to your residential building.
Your Harlem Co-op is a Workplace
The official mandate went into effect on December 27, 2021, and requires all workers in New York City who perform in-person work or interact with the public in the course of business to show proof they have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Then, workers have 45 days to show proof of their second dose (if applicable, i.e. the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines).
Your co-op is a business that must comply with this mandate because there are employees working there. You cannot allow any unvaccinated workers to come to the building. If workers, contractors, or volunteers refuse to comply with this mandate, you have the authority to discipline or fire them.
If your Harlem co-op is already requiring vaccines because of another federal or statewide mandate, those will take precedence over the New York City requirement.
Proving and Documenting Vaccination
You’ll need to ask your employees, contractors, and volunteers for a photo or hard copy of their CDC vaccination card. They can also use the NYC COVID Safe App, the New York State Excelsior Pass, and CLEAR’s digital vaccine card or health pass.
If you are working with someone who received a vaccine outside of the U.S., you’ll have to ask for an official record or a photo of it.
As with every legal mandate and requirement, your documentation and recordkeeping will be critical.
Make a copy of each proof of vaccine and document everyone you have checked. If your employees have only received their one dose so far, make a note to check for the second dose within 45 days.
Any information that you’ve collected on your employees, contractors, and volunteers must be stored securely and accessed only by those with a legitimate need to review it.
Exceptions and Accommodations in Your Harlem Co-op
Workers can request an exemption to this mandate for one of two reasons:
- A sincerely held religious belief
- A medical condition that prevents them from being vaccinated
Anyone employed by your co-op should have made this request before December 27. Our local experts are telling us that the city of New York has been taking a very narrow view of religious exemptions. What does not qualify as a religious exemption is a personal, political, or philosophical preference. Believing that the government should not mandate vaccines is not grounds for exemption.
Your co-op will need to post information on this mandate at your building. Employers must fill out a one-page attestation sign to be posted in their business by December 27 affirming compliance with the order.
We know there’s a lot of information coming at you about vaccine requirements, COVID, and how businesses are responding. We’re here to support your Harlem co-op and to provide as much accurate information as possible.
If you need help navigating this new mandate or you have additional questions about managing your Harlem co-op during these uncertain times, please contact us at Harlem Property Management. We’re here to be a resource to our community.