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Unvaccinated NYC Workers Can Take Unpaid Leave In November

Published Friday, November 5, 2021
by Neal Tepel/
Unvaccinated NYC Workers Can Take Unpaid Leave In November

(NEW YORK CITY) - The largest Public Employees Union in town has reached an agreement with Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Administration that allows Workers who have not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19 to take an unpaid leave of absence this month to think it over.

“We’ve reached an agreement that gives our Member options,” American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME) District Council 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido said. “Individuals can now make choices based on what is best for them and their families and know they will have health benefits available during this critical time.”

The city’s vacation mandate that was introduced last month impacted all NYPD, FDNY and DSNY Employees, as well as Civilian Employees of the Department of Correction (DOC) and Uniformed Members assigned to health care settings.

It took effect on November 1st.

Other Uniformed Members at the DOC will be subject to the mandate effective December 1st.

According to the new agreement with the de Blasio Administration, District Council 37 Members who have not been vaccinated can now be placed on unpaid leave and still be eligible for health benefits through November 30th.

Those who provide proof of vaccination during the leave time may return to their same job.

Employees will be eligible to be reimbursed for unused sick leave on a one-for-one basis, up to 100 days, the Union said.

Workers can still apply for a medical or religious exemption through their normal agency procedures. 

Employees who submit requests after November 5th will be placed on leave without pay for the duration of the process.

If the Worker is placed on leave without pay and their accommodation request is granted, they will be eligible for retroactive pay.

Those who choose to quit instead of complying with the vaccine mandate will remain eligible for health benefits through June 30th, 2022.

The overwhelming majority of District Council 37 Members working for the city have already been vaccinated.

Thousands of other Municipal Employees who opposed the city’s vaccination mandate marched across the Brooklyn Bridge in protest on October 25th.

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