Gov. Cuomo proposes legislation to stop discrimination against vaccinated individuals

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(WETM) – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed legislation aimed at stopping discrimination against those vaccinated against COVID-19.

“We can’t be in a situation where we we’re full-throated encouraging people to get a vaccine and then have people saying if you get a vaccine, you can’t participate in this activity,” said the Governor on Monday.

The Governor referenced a report in the Jewish Telegraphic Agency and other media outlets of a Sullivan County summer camp for Orthodox Jewish boys, Camp Hikon, who said they would not accept any campers or staff who had been vaccinated for COVID-19.

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“I understand the anti-vaccine argument,” said Cuomo. “In my opinion, there is no science to it. There is no science to it. You can have a theory, you can have a belief, but you can’t use that to make public policy without science and without data.”

The Governor did not lay out any timeline for when legislation could be presented to state legislators.

During the COVID-19 pandemic the Governor supported legislation that prevented discrimination against those who wore a mask. New York’s mask mandate has been in place since April 17, 2020.

Discrimination Relating to the Coronavirus Under the New York State Human Rights Law

  • Public places such as hotels, restaurants, transportation services, and retail stores cannot deny you entry or access to goods or services based on a perception that your national origin, race, or disability indicates possible exposure to the coronavirus.
  • Your employer cannot fire you, send you home, or tell you not to come to work because they think you may have been exposed to the coronavirus based solely on your race, national origin, or disability.
    • It is an unlawful discriminatory practice to terminate an employee or prevent them from working based on speculation that the employee’s race, national origin, or disability indicates possible exposure to the coronavirus.
  • If your employer terminates you or sends you home based on what is later found to be a discriminatory policy, your employer could be responsible for your missed wages.
  • If you are wearing a face mask as a precaution, you are still protected against discrimination.
    • The HRL prohibits discrimination based on a perceived connection between race, national origin, or disability and possible exposure to coronavirus. Wearing a face mask does not change this.
  • If you have been harassed or threatened because someone thinks you have the coronavirus, call 911 and contact law enforcement to report the incident immediately.
    • Threats and harassment based on race national origin may be considered hate crimes. You may bring this to the attention of the New York State Hate Crimes Task Force by calling 1-888-392-3644.

The New York State Division of Human Rights says those who feel as if they’ve been discriminated against due to COVID-19 can contact Human Rights Law at 1-888-392-3644.

On Monday the Governor also reported that New York’s COVID-19 positivity rate is 1.43% and that 16,826,409 total doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered statewide.

Gov. Cuomo: SUNY, CUNY will require in-person students to be vaccinated

The Governor also announced that all SUNY and CUNY students will need to be vaccinated to attend in-person classes this fall.

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