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Emergency Management & Public Health

Posted on: October 1, 2021

Municipal Vaccine Mandate Authority Affirmed

Earlier this month, we alerted you to an interim relief order issued by the Public Employment Relation Commission (PERC) regarding a municipality implementing a COVID-19 vaccination mandate for municipal employees. The PERC ruling determined that a public employer has a managerial prerogative to mandate full vaccinations against COVID-19 of all municipal employees. However, the enforcement aspects of the mandate, such as discipline, timing, costs, and privacy concerns, were terms of employment that must be negotiated.
 
This week, an appellate panel reviewed the PERC order; affirming the portion of the order allowing the municipality to implement its vaccination mandate and reversing and vacating the portion of the order that imposed restraints on the municipality or required any negotiations concerning the implementation, timing, or enforcement of the municipality’s vaccination mandate.
 
For an additional resource on this topic, the NJ Municipal Excess Liability Joint Insurance Fund offers a Bulletin to its members regarding mandatory vaccination of employees and recommends reviewing such policies with your municipal attorney prior to implementation.
 
 You should review this matter with your municipal labor counsel and your business administrator for more information.
 
Contact: Frank Marshall, Esq., Associate General Counsel, fmarshall@njlm.org, 609-695-3481, x137.

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