New York City Keeping Public Worker COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate in Place After Ruling

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City is ‘breaking the law,’ lawyer says

New York City is keeping its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for public workers in place after a judge ruled it was unconstitutional.

The city is also appealing the ruling, which ordered the reinstatement of workers who sued the city after they were terminated.

“The city strongly disagrees with this ruling as the mandate is firmly grounded in law and is critical to New Yorkers’ public health. We have already filed an appeal,” a spokesperson for the city’s Law Department told The Epoch Times in an email.

“In the meantime, the mandate remains in place as this ruling pertains solely to the individual petitioners in this case. We continue to review the court’s decision, which conflicts with numerous other rulings already upholding the mandate,” the spokesperson added.

In a notice of appeal, filed on Oct. 25 with the New York Supreme Court’s Appellate Division, city lawyers suggested Supreme Court Justice Ralph Porzio erred in his ruling by pointing out that “multiple courts” have held that the vaccine mandate is “entirely lawful and rational.”

Porzio on Monday found that the mandate was unconstitutional in part because the city carved out exceptions for certain people, including artists, and because the city is preparing to rescind its private employer mandate.

“Granting exemptions for certain classes and selectively lifting … vaccination orders, while maintaining others, is simply the definition of disparate treatment,” Porzio said.

The 16 former workers who sued all worked for the New York City Department of Sanitation.

They were terminated even though their union contracts did not require being vaccinated against COVID-19.

Porzio determined the group must be reinstated and are entitled to back pay.

Porzio also declared the mandate itself was “arbitrary and capricious,” or against state law.

The city spokesperson declined to address that part of that ruling.

By Zachary Stieber

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