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Tipsheet

More Than 1,400 New York City Workers Were Fired for Defying Vaccine Mandate

AP Photo/Angie Wang

More than 1,400 New York City workers lost their jobs last Friday for refusing to get inoculated with the coronavirus vaccine in compliance with the city’s vaccine mandate.

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According to ABC-affiliated local outlet WABC-7, city officials said that 1,430 unvaccinated city employees were terminated for defying the mandate.

“Virtually all of the employees dismissed Friday had been on unpaid leave for more than three months, a city official said, so residents should not see a disruption in city services,” the report noted.

On the other hand, 939 employees who were on unpaid leave ultimately decided to get vaccinated to keep their jobs. This accounted for “nearly 40 percent” of those who were on leave without pay. Over 99 percent of new hires got fully vaccinated. Only two new hires failed to get vaccinated and were terminated. 

"City workers served on the frontlines during the pandemic, and by getting vaccinated, they are, once again, showing how they are willing to do the right thing to protect themselves and all New Yorkers," New York City Mayor Eric Adams said in a statement..

"Our goal was always to vaccinate, not terminate, and city workers stepped up and met the goal placed before them. Out of all the new city employees who received notices two weeks ago, only two who worked last week are no longer employed by the city. I'm grateful to all the city workers who continue to serve New Yorkers and 'Get Stuff Done' for the greatest city in the world."

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A spokesperson for the United Federation of Teachers, the labor union that represents most teachers in New York City public schools, issued a statement saying that the city cannot terminate workers based on the mandate.

“The UFT believes that the city cannot summarily terminate any employees based on the vaccine mandate,” the statement read. “The union is part of a lawsuit that would ensure that these cases go through the due process disciplinary procedures established in state law and the union contract. A hearing on this matter is scheduled for March 1, 2022 in New York State Supreme Court.”

Last year, as Spencer covered, former Mayor Bill de Blasio rolled out a mandate requiring proof of vaccination for most indoor establishments in the city. Vaccination is verified through an app, dubbed the “Key to NYC” pass.

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