Empire State Weekly: Eyeing impact of state employee vaccine mandate


ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – This week on Empire State Weekly we discuss the countdown to New York’s vaccine mandate for employees. We are joined by New York State Health Facilities President and CEO Stephen Hanse to discuss the potential impact come Monday.   Lawsuits against the mandate are growing with members and unions seeking injunctions and restraining orders.

For health care workers, anyone not seeking a religious exemption is required to have at least their first vaccination dose by Monday, September 27th. Those seeking a religious exemption have until October 12th as their lawsuit plays out in court. Hanse says for workers who are not vaccinated come Monday “”Those individuals could be laid off, they could be terminated for cause. If they’re terminated for cause they are not eligible for unemployment. So we are anticipating a shortage on Monday, we’re already seeing a shortfall so our concern is this issue would be exacerbated.”

We also speak with SUNY New Paltz’s Institute of Disaster Mental Health Director Amy Nitza about their annual conference on dealing with emergencies. This year’s theme is “From 9/11 to COVID-19: Two decades of Disaster Response.” The institute was founded soon after the attacks of September 11, 2001. The annual conference provides critical information and best practices in the field of mental health for New York’s front-line responders, emergency managers, clinical practitioners, and disaster relief volunteers.

This year’s conference is on September 29th and 30th and will be held virtually. The public is invited to attend. If you are a New York State or Municipal employee, use the code DHSES2021 and register with your work email to have your conference registration fee waived. Click here to register and learn more.

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