Legal Alert: NYSDOH to Rescind Religious Exemptions to COVID-19 Vaccines
Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Department of Health have announced that approved COVID-19 vaccination religious exemptions for healthcare workers will no longer be allowed as of Monday, November 22, 2021. This determination comes in response to recent court rulings, including the November 1, 2021 decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
As a practical matter, this means that all personnel working within New York’s hospitals, nursing homes, home care agencies, and hospices (excluding those with a valid medical exemption) are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, without regard to a religious objection. Regardless, facilities should have a process in place to consider reasonable accommodation requests from covered personnel based on sincerely held religious beliefs consistent with applicable federal and state laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and NYS Human Rights Law.
If you have any questions regarding this article, or if you have any other Labor & Employment Law concerns, please contact the Underberg & Kessler attorney who regularly handles your legal matters or Ryan T. Biesenbach, the author of this piece, here or at (585) 258-2865.