LOCAL 3 United Storeworkers
31-21 31st Street, 4th Floor
Astoria, N.Y. 11106
President, Cassandra A. Berrocal
Secretary-Treasurer, Shaun Kavanagh
Recorder, James R. de Szigethy
December 20, 2021
Re: COVID vaccination – Bloomingdale’s
Dear Local 3 Member:
As you may have heard, on December 14th, Mayor de Blasio, through the New York City Department of Health, issued a vaccine mandate for private sector employers within the 5 boroughs of New York City. This mandate states that beginning December 27th, all private-sector workers who have not filed for reasonable accommodations for either religious or medical reasons must provide proof of full vaccination or proof of at least one vaccine dose to their employers. Bloomingdale’s sent you a memo on December 17, 2021 stating it was complying with the City’s mandate and set forth requirements you must follow.
Under the City mandate, if an employee has received one dose but is not fully vaccinated, the employee must inform the employer the date by which proof of the second dose will be provided. According to New York City requirements, that date must be within 45 days of when proof of their first dose was submitted. Workers who believe they may qualify for a reasonable accommodation for medical or religious beliefs must request this accommodation by December 27th. If you do not get vaccinated, or do not timely file for an accommodation, the City-mandate prohibits you from entering your workplace. Prior City-ordered mandates have been upheld by the courts for public sector workers and we see no reason why a court would not uphold this mandate for private sector workers if challenged.
You may have also heard that President Biden’s OSHA COVID regulations for employers with 100 or more employees, which applies to Bloomingdale’s, has been going back and forth in the federal courts. These regulations allow some flexibility for employers. As of Friday December 17, a federal appeals court upheld the mandate (others have struck it down). The ruling is being appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. We will be discussing both President Biden’s OSHA regulations and the City mandate with Bloomingdale’s.
The Union does not want you to risk insubordination or discipline and, as of now, Bloomingdale’s vaccine policy is in effect. Bloomingdale’s will be asking you to provide proof of vaccination so that they are compliant with the New York City mandate.
Should you have any questions about this or need assistance filing for a reasonable accommodation, please contact RWDSU Local 3 at (212) 371 6230. Thank you for your patience during this time.
In Union Solidarity,
Local 3 United Storeworkers