Durst Organization employees not vaccinated by Labor Day will be fired: report

Real Estate

The Durst Organization has a tough message for the hundreds of its non-union employees in its corporate offices: Get vaccinated or get fired.

The family-run, New York real estate empire expects its corporate employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Sept. 6, or they will be “separated from the company,” a spokesman confirmed to The Post.

Employees with a medical or religious objection to the jab will be dealt with on a case by case basis and may receive an “accommodation,” spokesman Jordan Barowitz added.

The policy was communicated to the company’s 350 corporate employees in June, Barowitz said, and was “driven by the wishes of the employees who want to work in a safer environment.”

The company’s corporate employees have been working from the company’s headquarters for some time, he added.

A masked person with a bandage on their shoulder holds up a sticker showing they've been vaccinated
Non-union workers at the Durst Organization will have to show they are vaccinated against COVID-19 — or else, according to a report.
Getty Images

The policy, however, does not apply to Durst’s 700 union employees who are covered by a collective bargaining agreement, a source familiar with the situation told The Post.

The union employees “are building service workers, cleaners, security, doorman and local 93 covers the engineers who maintain the mechanical systems in the buildings,” the source said.

“Durst can’t force union workers to adhere to this policy,” the source said, adding that it’s “more of a process” with union workers.

The edict comes as employers grapple with plans to bring employees back to the office in September amid a new surge in infections and hospitalizations.

On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control reversed its previous guidance on mask-wearing for vaccinated people — saying it now recommends face coverings in all public settings for anyone in a COVID hot spot.

That means masks indoors for anyone working in an area deemed at “high” or “substantial” risk of coronavirus transmission. New York City is currently considered to have substantial risk of transmission as the more highly contagious Delta variant spreads.

The issue is particularly fraught for big Wall Street firms, which have been beating the drum for their employees to return to the office. In response to the CDC’s Tuesday guidance, Morgan Stanley — whose CEO James Gorman has warned employees they could face a pay cut if they don’t return to the office after Labor Day — signaled that it might soften its stance.

“The firm is monitoring the situation closely … and is prepared to change policies should conditions change,” Morgan Stanley said Tuesday, citing COVID case counts, public health authority recommendations and local jurisdiction mandates.

On Monday, Mayor De Blasio ordered city workers to get a shot or submit to weekly COVID tests by Sept. 13 while Governor Andrew Cuomo implemented a similar policy for all state employees to get vaccinated by Sept. 6. 

A woman administering a shot to a masked individual
Durst’s edict to have employees vaccinated comes as employers grapple with plans to bring employees back to the office amid a new surge in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations.
AP

Some condo buildings are also delivering the same message to their employees, including doormen and porters, as The Post reported.

Crain’s New York Business first reported Durst’s new vaccine policy.

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