On Friday, New York judge Justice Lyle Frank ruled that the city’s mandate, which requires members of the New York City Police Department have taken the Covid-19 vaccine is is invalid and cannot be applied to members of the Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York.
Justice Frank ordered in his ruling that any union members who were “wrongfully terminated and/or put on leave without pay a result of non-compliance” be returned to their previous positions.
The ruling stated that the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s “conduct of unilaterally creating a condition of employment is improper,” according to Fox News.
“In support of its contention that the DOH Commissioner can unilaterally create employment conditions; respondents cite to holdings of recently decided federal cases and trial court decisions. This argument too is unpersuasive. Respondents cite a multitude of cases where this Court, as well as others, have denied petitions based on vaccination being a condition of employment, however in those instances the City and the respective union collectively bargained to include the vaccination mandate as a new condition of employment, that is not the case here.”
Frank accepted that when the mandate was applied, no laws were broken, however he could not identify any legal basis for those who did not take the vaccine to be terminated from their positions.
Frank said that while respondents stated that the order that creating a new condition of employment “similar to the residency requirement for all non-uniformed civil service employees found in NYC Administrative Code 12-120 or in New York Public Officers Law § 3(1)” and that this mandate is “another example of a lawfully created condition of employment,” the court did not concur.
Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch praised the decision and said that he and the union will continue to fight for their members.
“This decision confirms what we have said from the start: the vaccine mandate was an improper infringement on our members’ right to make personal medical decisions in consultation with their own health care professionals,” Lynch said.
A lawyer representing the Department of Health confirmed their intention to appeal the ruling: “We are immediately appealing this ruling. It is at odds with every other court decision upholding the mandate as a condition of employment.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: NBC NEWS
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