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March 31, 2023
Almost 2,000 city workers in New York City who lost their jobs over their refusal to receive the mandated COVID-19 vaccine will have to reapply for their jobs if they want them back after Mayor Eric Adams ended the mandate this week.
Adams announced on Monday that he was ending the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for city employees after 1,780 were fired for their noncompliance since the mandate was put in place in late 2021 when the vaccine first rolled out. Adams cited a 96 percent vaccination rate for city workers as a determining factor in his decision, and made coronavirus vaccines optional for city workers.
“I continue to urge every New Yorker to get vaccinated, get boosted, and take the necessary steps to protect themselves and those around them from COVID-19,” the mayor said in his announcement. Positive COVID cases in the city were down by 35 percent last week, according to the New York Times COVID tracker.
As for the fired workers, their unions have expressed their intent to sue the city over the decision to make the former employees reapply for their jobs in their respective departments. The fired workers include city police officers, fire fighters, health department workers and education department workers, who have also been told they will not receive back pay for the work they missed due to their noncompliance with the now-lifted vaccine mandate.
“All the plaintiffs have suffered substantial damages in the form of lost pay, lost medical coverage, and other harms as a result of the City’s unconstitutional conduct,” said an attorney for the fired workers, John Bursch to the New York Post. “The plaintiffs are entitled to a remand so that lower courts can determine how much the City owes them for its unconstitutional conduct.”
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: LUKE MOCHERMAN
PHOTO CREDIT: THE NEW YORK TIMES