NYC Requiring City Employees to Return to Office Full Time on Sept. 13

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The post-Labor Day return to the office might be gone for most private companies, but not New York City.

Mayor Bill de Blasio directed all municipal employees to return to the office full time starting on Sept. 13, despite concerns over the contagious delta variant of the coronavirus causing numerous companies to keep staffers working from home, The New York Times first reported.

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De Blasio’s reopening task force sent an email to the heads of New York City agency heads, ordering the nearly 80,000 city employees to “resume pre-March 2020 work schedules in the office beginning September 13” and that “telework will only be allowed in limited circumstances,” NYT reported.

“As the city finishes its return to office process, the mayor’s message remains the same: We know how to make workplaces safe, and public servants can deliver more for New Yorkers when they’re working together,” Mitch Schwartz, a spokesperson for de Blasio, said in a statement to Commercial Observer. “City workers will have all the resources they need to complete this final step safely. There’s no time to waste in building a recovery for all of us.”

The move comes after de Blasio called workers back to in-person work on May 3 — despite concerns and protests from staffers about the safety conditions of bringing employees back — but instituted a 50 percent capacity limit in offices. The new policy would require everyone to come back full time.

And last month, de Blasio required all city workers to be vaccinated against the coronavirus by Sept. 13 or undergo weekly testing, a move that set off private employers scrambling to do the same.

But, de Blasio’s strict return-to-work edict comes as dozens of private companies keep pushing back their office homecoming date over concerns about the contagious delta variant. On Tuesday, Google delayed its return a second time to after Jan. 10, 2022, joining Amazon and Lyft in not expecting staffers back until next year.

Nicholas Rizzi can be reached at nrizzi@commercialobserver.com.