Supreme Court of NY: NYC must re-hire, back-pay employees terminated over vax mandate
October 26, 2022

The supreme court of New York State has ordered that New York City must rehire all government employees who were terminated after refusing to vaccinate against Covid. The decision also requires the city to compensate all rehired employees with back pay for the time they lost.

In October of 2021, New York City’s health commissioner, David Chokshi issued an order requiring all city employees to get vaccinated against the new virus. Chokshi then followed up that order by also requiring employees in the private sector to be vaccinated as well. The only exception made by Mayor Eric Adams was for athletes, musicians, and other performers.

The supreme court determined that Chokshi’s violated the constitution on New York State and added that both Chokshi’s and Adams’s orders were “arbitrary and capricious.”

The opinion reads in part, “The Health Commissioner cannot create a new condition of employment for city employees… cannot prohibit an employee from reporting to work… [and] cannot terminate employees. The Mayor cannot exempt certain employees from these orders.”

Judge Ralph J. Porzio, who authored the opinion, noted that Covid-19 vaccinations do not prevent transmission of the disease. He also added that his decision was not “a commentary on the efficacy of vaccination.”

Porzio said, “If it was about safety and public health, no one would be exempt. It is time for the City of New York to do what is right and what is just.”

According to a spokesman for the city’s law department, New York City has filed an appeal. They issued a statement that said:

“The city strongly disagrees with this ruling as the mandate is firmly grounded in law and is critical to New Yorkers’ public health. We have already filed an appeal. In the meantime, the mandate remains in place as this ruling pertains solely to the individual petitioners in this case. We continue to review the court’s decision, which conflicts with numerous other rulings already upholding the mandate.”

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