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BLOG / 10.15.21 /Kenneth R. Jacobs

32BJ And RAB Reach Agreement On Implementing Vaccination Policies In Buildings

Local 32BJ and the Realty Advisory Board have entered into a “Memorandum of Understanding” regarding the implementation of vaccine mandates at buildings. Employers may require employees to be vaccinated under the following timetables and protocols:

1. Employers must give employees one week’s notice of their intention to require vaccinations at the building;

2. By the end of that week, employees must:

(a) provide proof of vaccination; or

(b) provide proof of an appointment to receive a vaccination; or

(c) if the employee is seeking an appointment, either (i) provide proof of their request for an appointment, or (ii) request assistance to make an appointment; or

(d) If the employee is unwilling to be vaccinated, they must provide their reason for refusal. If they’re seeking a religious or ADA accommodation, the Employer must advise them how to seek such an accommodation.

3. No earlier than one week after the deadline for providing info (i.e., two weeks from the initial request for information), the Employer shall notify the Union and all employees of its written vaccination policy. Thereafter employees cannot be compelled to get their first shot of a 2-dose vaccine (or their only shot of a single-dose vaccine) sooner than four weeks thereafter, and their second shot sooner than eight weeks thereafter.

The Union and the RAB will consult about procedures for obtaining a booster shot, but employees will get paid time off to receive a booster.

4. Pending Implementation of – or Instead of – a vaccination mandate, an Employer may require all unvaccinated employees to undergo PCR testing on non-work time up to 2 times per week, and to submit the test results to the Employer. (The PCR test is a diagnostic test, not an antibody test.)

5. An employee who is not vaccinated by the required dates may elect (a) and unpaid leave of absence for up to 4 months; (b) placement on a recall list (for similar positions) for six months, and provided the Employee is vaccinated; or (c) separation for non-disciplinary reasons.

6. Superintendents who seek a leave or furlough but whose absence will hurt the building may arbitrate the dispute.

The full Memo of Understanding can be found HERE.

If you’re a non-union building, or have a different union, you are not obliged to follow these guidelines. Regardless, we recommend that you establish and circulate an employee vaccination policy for the protection of your residents as well as your employees. Undoubtedly your owners also will want to know what the Board is doing.