Religious exemptions from COVID-19 vaccine mandate for NYS health care workers end Monday

Health care jobs on the rise in NYS
Posted at 4:40 PM, Nov 17, 2021

NEW YORK (WKBW) — Religious exemptions from the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for New York State health care workers end Monday.

The New York State Department of Health sent a letter to health care providers across the state that said beginning Monday those who were previously granted religious exemptions must have documentation of a first dose COVID-19 vaccination or a valid medical exemption.

"The purpose of this letter is to inform covered entities that beginning November 22, 2021, all covered entities must ensure that covered “personnel” under the Department’s August 26, 2021 – Prevention of COVID-19 Transmission by Covered Entities Emergency Regulation who were previously granted religious exemptions have documentation of either a first dose COVID-19 vaccination or a valid medical exemption. 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 Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and NYS Human Rights Law, and their applicable guidance."

In early October a federal judge ruled the state had to allow health care workers to seek exemptions as a lawsuit challenging the requirement proceeded in court.

In late October a federal appeals panel upheld the state's vaccine mandate for health care workers and reversed the federal judge's decision.