8.18.21 | Industry Insights
On Tuesday, August 17th, New York City became the first major U.S. city to require proof of vaccination to enter restaurants, gyms, and other NYC venues. Although the mandate has begun this week, inspections and enforcement for businesses will not begin until Monday, September 13th, to give New Yorkers more time to get their shots.
As we stand today, approximately 56% of New York City residents, and 58% of residents statewide, have been fully inoculated. With the new mandate comes more challenges for the hospitality industry. Employees of these venues are required by the mandate to be vaccinated, but what should employers do if an employee refuses to be vaccinated or cannot be inoculated due to health/religious reasons? According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), “federal anti-discrimination laws don’t prohibit employers from requiring all employees who physically enter the workplace to be vaccinated for COVID-19. However, employers that encourage or require vaccinations must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other workplace laws.” Aside from local issues for hospitality, tourism creates a new challenge.
Although it is not expected for tourism to return to pre-COVID levels anytime soon, verifying vaccine cards and barcodes for individuals who received their vaccine from countries whose coding and vaccination approved apps are different from those of the U.S., could cost these businesses the revenue from tourists they were expecting to assist in their recovery.
For more information on the changing restrictions on vaccination requirements impacting the hospitality industry, contact Jack Pulvirenti at 212.331.7514, JPulvirenti@berdonllp.com, or your Berdon advisor.