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As employees return to work and COVID cases rise, questions over mandated vaccination swirl

July 29, 2021

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As COVID-19 cases increase, employers face the decision whether to require employees to get the vaccine.

Within hours of each other on Monday, New York City announced its public employees would need to get the vaccine or be tested weekly, and the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs said its medical frontline workers would need to be inoculated within eight weeks.

This comes as the state has seen an uptick in the number of COVID-19 cases, with more than 1,600 new cases reported Tuesday — a fivefold increase from a month ago.

As people wonder if such mandates are legal, the short answer is yes, and it’s similar to vaccines many people get before enrolling in school.

“When you’re younger, you take those vaccines, whether it was polio or chicken pox or something, and you needed those to go to school. I think now, it’s the same type of deal,” says Derrick Hogan, partner at Tully Rinckey.

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