The New York Supreme Court on Monday reinstated all employees who previously lost their jobs for refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccine.
The court ordered that the employees are also “entitled to back pay in salary from the date of termination”and affirmed that their rights had been violated after the city imposed harsh vaccine mandates earlier this year.
In the ruling, court noted that “being vaccinated does not prevent an individual from contracting or transmitting COVID-19,” adding that “vaccination should be encouraged, public employees should not have been terminated for their noncompliance.”
“As of the day of this Decision, CDC guidelines regarding quarantine and isolation are the same for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals,” the ruling states. “The Petitioners should not have been terminated for choosing not to protect themselves.”
NY State Supreme Court reinstates all fired unvaccinated employees, orders backpay, says the state violated rights, acted arbitrary & capricious, notes:“Being vaccinated does not prevent an individual from contracting or transmitting Covid-19.”https://t.co/nvOsWfa56S pic.twitter.com/WhH4wje2bQ
— Marina Medvin 🇺🇸 (@MarinaMedvin) October 25, 2022
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit included the City of New York, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the New York Department of Sanitation, Commissioner of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene David Chokshi, and New York City Mayor Adams.
“Based upon the Petitioners’ vague denials of their exemptions, the fact they were kept at full duty for several months while their exemptions were pending, the Mayor’s Executive Order granting exemptions to certain classes of people, and the lifting of the private sector mandate, this Court finds the Commissioners Orders of October 20, 2021, and December 13, 2021, as well as the Mayor’s Executive Order No. 62 to be arbitrary and capricious,” the state court ruled.
🚨 BREAKING: NY Supreme Court orders reinstatement of fired unvaxxed staff, WITH backpay, says “Being vaccinated does not prevent an individual from contracting or transmitting Covid-19,” adding that the mandates were “about compliance” >> https://t.co/MSfxjj5LVq
— Raheem J. Kassam (@RaheemKassam) October 25, 2022
“There is nothing in the record to support the rationality of keeping a vaccination mandate for public employees, while vacating the mandate for private sector employees or creating a carveout for certain professions, like athletes, artists, and performers.”
“This is clearly an arbitrary and capricious action because we are dealing with identical unvaccinated people being treated differently by the same administrative agency,” the court added.
New York City unjustly fired about 1,400 workers, including firefighters, police officers and other emergency workers, for refusing the COVID-19 vaccines earlier this year after imposing a vaccine mandate under the former mayor, Bill de Blasio.
The court’s ruling comes after Mayor Adams asserted earlier this year that his administration would not rehire unvaccinated employees.
This news and commentary by Andrew White originally appeared on Valiant News.