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Tipsheet

Adams Ripped After Announcement About the Status of the Vaccine Mandate for City Workers

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced Monday the city’s COVID vaccine mandate for municipal workers will come to an end later this week.

“With more than 96% of city workers and more than 80% of New Yorkers having received their primary COVID-19 series and more tools readily available to keep us healthy, this is the right moment for this decision,” Adams said in a statement. “I continue to urge every New Yorker to get vaccinated, get boots, and take the necessary steps to protect themselves and those around them from COVID-19.”

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On Friday, Feb. 10, the vaccine will become optional for current and prospective city workers, but that does not mean the approximately 1,780 who were fired for refusing the jab will automatically be reinstated. Instead, they will have to reapply for their jobs but even if they are rehired, it's unclear whether they'll get the same pay, benefits, and title as before.

Republican lawmakers said there should be discussions about bringing them back as well as compensation. 

 “I think it’s time for us to really talk about hiring back the workers that were unfairly let go, whether we can talk about back pay, or more importantly, whether we can talk about pension credits," said GOP City Councilmember Joe Borelli, according to NY1.

The release said the vaccine mandate will also be lifted for non-public school, early child care and day care workers.

A number of employees fired for refusing the jab sued after the mandate was first announced and those efforts are ongoing. 

A lawyer representing the fired workers said active litigation will continue, claiming the vaccination mandate was unconstitutional and his clients deserve back pay and damages after suffering financial and professional harm.

“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. The plaintiffs are entitled to a remand so that lower courts can determine how much the City owes them for its unconstitutional conduct,” said lawyer John Bursch, with the group Alliance Defending Freedom.

Bursch also said the terminated employees have a “negative letter” in their personnel file that may “prevent re-employment with the City or employment” and those records need to be stricken. He also said some teachers lost their instructional licenses during their dismissal that warrants redress.

There is also a legal threshold issue. He said the courts have to rule on the constitutionality of vaccination requirements once and for all because the city “could simply reimpose the mandate at any time.”

Another attorney in the case, James Mermigis, said, “We will continue to fight until everyone is reinstated and made whole.” (New York Post)

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Rather than welcoming the news on social media, critics blasted Adams. 


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