New York Supreme Court orders city to rehire and pay wages to unvaccinated city employees. The New York State Supreme Court has ordered New York City to rehire and pay back wages to government employees who were fired for refusing to be vaccinated against covid-19. David Chokshi, the city’s health commissioner, issued an order in October 2021 requiring all city employees to be vaccinated against the virus. Chokshi subsequently issued a similar order for private sector employees; Mayor Eric Adams signed a supplemental executive order to that latest mandate that establishes exemptions for athletes, musicians and other entertainers.
The court found Chokshi and Adams’ orders to be “arbitrary and capricious,” while also finding that Chokshi violated the New York state constitution.
“The Health Commissioner cannot create a new employment condition for city employees. . . he cannot prohibit an employee from reporting to work. . . [and] you cannot fire employees. The mayor cannot exempt certain employees from these orders,” read the opinion, written by Judge Ralph J. Porzio. Porzio noted that vaccination against Covid-19 does not prevent transmission of the disease, but noted that the decision “is not a comment on the efficacy of vaccination.”
“If it were about public health and safety, no one would be exempt. It is time for the City of New York to do what is right and what is fair,” Porzio concluded.
The city has already filed an appeal according to a spokesperson for the legal department, who said “the city strongly disagrees with this ruling as the mandate is firmly grounded in law and critical to the public health of New Yorkers.”
New York Supreme Court orders city to rehire and pay wages to unvaccinated city employees