11/07/2023 / By Zoey Sky
A New York state Supreme Court has ordered all New York City employees who were fired for not being vaccinated against the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) to be reinstated with back pay. The state Supreme Court released the order late last month after finding that being vaccinated does not prevent a person “from contracting or transmitting COVID-19.”
New York has one Supreme Court for each county.
Earlier in 2023, New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced that his administration would not rehire employees who were fired because of their vaccination status. Meanwhile, at least 1,700 unvaccinated employees in NYC were fired early this year after the city adopted a vaccine mandate under former Mayor Bill de Blasio. Many of the workers who lost their jobs were firefighters and police officers.
Andrew Ansbro, president of the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY)-Uniformed Firefighters Association (UFA), and Lt. James McCarthy, president of the FDNY-Uniformed Fire Officers Association (UFOA), condemned Adams after the latter allowed an exception to the vaccine mandate for athletes and performers while firefighters were still being fired over their vaccination status.
At the time, Ansbro and McCarthy called on the city to expand the exception to all New Yorkers.
“We support the revocation of the mandate for the athletes and performers that work in New York City. [But] we think that the people that work for New York City should also have the mandate relocated for them,” said McCarthy.
Ansbro also said that if you are going to “remove the vaccine mandate for certain people in the city,” it’s only fair to “remove it for everybody in the city.” Ansbro noted that following the science reveals that there is no danger right now and that “putting hundreds of firefighters, police officers and other emergency workers out of work is not in the best interest of the city.”
In September, a New York judge also announced that 10 employees fired by the New York City Department of Education for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine must be reinstated with back pay.
The ruling is a major victory for vaccine mandate opponents as State Supreme Court Judge Ralph J. Porzio said NYC’s denials of religious accommodation for certain employees were “unlawful, arbitrary and capricious.”
The case involved school principals, teachers and other educators who sued after city officials rejected their claims for a religious exemption to the coronavirus vaccine mandate.
In a 22-page opinion, Porzio said the Court saw “no rational basis for not allowing unvaccinated classroom teachers in amongst an admitted population of primarily unvaccinated students.”
Porzio added that the decision to “summarily deny the classroom teachers amongst the Panel Petitioners based on an undue hardship, without any further evidence of individualized analysis, is arbitrary, capricious, and unreasonable.” He also added that the classroom teachers amongst the Panel Petitioners are “entitled to a religious exemption from the vaccine mandate.”
NYC’s vaccine mandate for all DOE workers was in effect from October 1, 2021, to February 10, 2023. At the time, thousands of teachers and other education workers lost their jobs under the policy for refusing to comply with the mandate.
Sujata Gibson, lead attorney for the plaintiffs, said the historic victory was a “watershed moment in the teachers’ two-year fight for relief.” Gibson added that the Court’s decision granted relief to the ten teachers and helped set a crucial “precedent for all other teachers denied religious accommodation.”
Porzio’s ruling in favor of the fired educators did not extend to petitioners who did not initially apply for religious accommodation under NYC’s vaccine mandate, which a federal court struck down as unconstitutional in 2021.
According to Gibson, the Court agreed that employees were not required to submit applications through the prior unlawful process but still “declined to award relief to those plaintiffs because there were contested issues of fact as to whether these plaintiffs submitted applications under the new process.”
While the judge’s ruling wasn’t everything they wanted, Gibson acknowledged that it was “a precedent-setting victory.”
Michael Kane, a New York teacher who lost his job after refusing the COVID-19 vaccine, said the ruling was “bittersweet” because even though it is an important step in the right direction, justice for only 10 of them does not address the “injustice suffered by NYC workers as a result of this illegal mandate.”
Read more articles about unfair vaccine mandates at MedicalTyranny.com.
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