The New York state Supreme Court ruled that the rights of city employees who were fired for refusing to get vaccinated had been violated, and the Big Apple owes them their jobs back and back pay for their troubles.
Around 1,400 municipal workers, including plenty of first responders, lost their jobs at the beginning of the year when the effective date on former Mayor Bill de Blasio’s vaccine mandate went into effect.
The court found that “being vaccinated does not prevent an individual from contracting or transmitting COVID-19,” and that the mandate was just as much about “compliance” as the public health and safety of New York City.
“If it was about safety and public health, unvaccinated workers would have been placed on leave the moment the order was issued,” Judge Ralph Porzio wrote.
The city’s vaccine polices are already wildly inconsistent, with exemptions for entertainers and athletes rolled out in March, and the upcoming end of the private sector mandate on Nov. 1.
Mayor Eric Adams admitted he had no intention of reversing the rules for city workers anytime soon. “Our vaccinated workforce kept the city open and operating, with over 300,000 employees it was crucial to put it in place and we’re keeping it in place,” Adams told reporters.
“Our vaccinated workers have carried out their jobs and stepped up when the city needed them the most and we think it’s imperative to send the right message and lead by example,” he asserted.
Due to the court’s ruling, the city will be forced to re-hire the police officers, firefighters, and municipal workers that were fired, and give them back pay for all of the time they missed.
“In a City with a nearly 80% vaccination rate, we shouldn’t be penalizing the people who showed up to work, at great risk to themselves and their families, while we were locked down,” Judge Porzio remarked. “If it was about safety and public health, no one would be exempt.”
Celebrities, talking heads, and the internet celebrated the New York Supreme Court’s ruling on Monday.
“Well, well, well…what do we have here?” Tweeted conservative country legend John Rich. “The mask and vax mafia are going to have a full blown meltdown…”
“Love it,” remarked Outkick’s Clay Travis. “This should be the first bill Republicans pass in House & Senate in 2023.”
“This is correct. The beginning of a landslide,” added “Superman” star Dean Cain.
Oscar-winning actor Tim Robbins cited the decision to blast two Hollywood actor’s unions for their “discriminatory” policies.
“Hey [SAG-AFTRA] and [Actors Equity]: Way past time to end your discriminatory policies. NY Supreme Court just ruled that all unvaccinated NYC employees are “reinstated to their full employment” and are “entitled to back pay in salary from the date of termination.”
He quoted judge Porzio in a follow-up tweet: “Being vaccinated does not prevent an individual from contracting or transmitting Covid-19. As of the day of this Decision, CDC guidelines regarding quarantine and isolation are the same for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.”
While one person was wasn’t totally satisfied by the court’s restitution orders. “Isn’t that nice? “We’re sorry we ruined careers, pushed people in poverty and broke apart families–for nothing. My bad.” Not good enough!!! All those fired employees should STILL sue,” they posted.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul showed no remorse for the mandate during a debate against Republican challenger Lee Zeldin on Tuesday. “And I would do it all over again,” she said. “That mandate for healthcare workers.”
“It is disturbing that Americans allowed, even cheered, people losing their livelihoods over a forced vaccination that does NOT significantly reduce the spread of COVID,” someone tweeted. “And politicians are defending their actions, rather then trying to right their wrongs.”