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NY Courts Update Covid Vaccination Policy

On Monday, August 23, 2021, the United States Food and Drug Administration (the “FDA”)  gave full approval to the Pfizer vaccine for individuals 16 and over.  As a result, many governmental agencies and corporations now are requiring employees to become vaccinated and not offering the testing “opt out” as an alternative.

In New York, Chief Judge Janet DiFiore of the New York Court System announced a new policy, directing that all court system employees are required to be vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid 19).

It has been previously upheld that employers in New York State are permitted to mandate vaccination for employees, with some limited exceptions. You can read our blog post on the topic here.  Now that FDA final approval has been granted (the vaccines previously had been granted emergency approval only), the issue of mandatory vaccination as a condition of employment is becoming more widespread.

In her address, Chief Judge DiFiore stated, “I think you know that we have worked hard to craft and implement the very best policies and protocols to both protect you and allow us to safely carry out our mission of providing access to justice for all New Yorkers,” said DiFiore. “It is our number one priority that you and your families, and lawyers and litigants and their families, remain safe, healthy and out of harm’s way as we go about our important work.”

Plans for implementation of the new policy have not yet been announced; however, a weekly mandatory testing for unvaccinated employees has already been announced.

If you are an employer or an employee and have questions about a vaccine mandate, or other employment questions, you can contact an experienced Tesser Ryan attorney by calling (212) 754-9000 today.

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