Leni Cummins discusses important considerations for New York coops as boards begin to discuss whether building staff, as well as periodic workers such as contractors or housekeepers, will be required to get the COVID-19 vaccine in The New York Times. Although the limited available supply means mandated vaccines remain long off, boards are discussing options for the future. According to federal guidelines, employers can require workers get the vaccine, with exceptions made for religious or medical reasons.
In addition to exemptions and employment laws, buildings may encounter issues because most are staffed with union workers, Leni notes. Unless a building’s contract gives the board the right to require vaccinations, changes would need to be negotiated with their union, 32BJ SEIU, she continues.
Leni also points out that many boards already have rules and restrictions in place for periodic workers that go beyond state guidelines, requiring these vendors to complete questionnaires prior to entering a building. She anticipates that vaccine requirements will be mandated for these workers, because buildings do not have an obligation to provide vendors with access and many buildings temporarily banned outside workers in 2020.
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