A new survey of New York City companies by the Partnership for New York City suggests that as the omicron variant is pushing back and altering return-to-work plans, there has been a significant, though not widespread, uptick in new policies in response to the latest surge.
A survey of respondents from across the borough and various industries found that 12% of companies have mandated employees get vaccinated and boosted by a specific date. While the Biden administration’s proposed rule mandating large employees vaccinate their workers was struck down by the Supreme Court last week, former Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered that all private city employers vaccinate their staff.
In addition, a quarter of companies require employees who return to the office to get tested regularly, while 7% ask for a negative Covid test for all visitors. Roughly 1 in 3 firms reinstated mask mandates, 22% closed offices to nonessential employees and 10% suspended in-person meetings.
The survey also found 3 in 4 employers pushed back their return-to-office plans due to the variant omicron. Just 16% of employers said office attendance is at 50% or higher, with other firms offering an array of estimates as to when they expect to hit that benchmark: 7% said by the end of January, 38% by the end of March, 11% by the end of June and 5% by the end of September.
Covid cases in New York City have been on a recent decline, hitting around 20,000 confirmed cases daily from a high of 40,000 earlier this month.
Writtedn By Patrick Sisson