The New York Supreme Court judge has ordered city employees fired for refusing to comply with vaccination orders to be reinstated and repaid with their salaries.
In a ruling issued Monday, Judge Ralph Porzio said the city-wide order requiring workers to be vaccinated was “capricious and arbitrary” and violated the state's separation of powers principle.
“It is time for the City of New York to do what is right and what is just,” Judge Porzio said.
The order follows a lawsuit filed by 16 New York City Department of Health employees who were fired in February for failing to complete vaccination orders.
The order also applies to more than 1,400 city employees, including hundreds of police officers, firefighters, and Department of Education workers who have lost their jobs.
"We've only interfered with mandatory vaccinations for all city employees," Chad Laveglia, an attorney representing health workers, said in a statement shortly after the court's ruling was announced.
"It is invalid."
Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin said in a Twitter post that the verdict was "100% correct and fair."
“Nobody should lose their job over the personal decision whether or not to get the COVID shot.”
Judge Porzio's 12-page ruling criticized former Mayor Bill de Blasio's order that required city employees to receive two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, which was later extended to private employers.
"The rationale for maintaining vaccination mandates for civil servants while removing mandates for private sector workers or creating spin-offs for specific occupations such as athletes, artists, and performers. There are no records to back it up."
“This is an arbitrary and capricious action because we are dealing with identical unvaccinated people being treated differently by the same administrative agency.”
New York has nearly 80% vaccination coverage, and "people who show up for work during the lockdown should not be punished by putting themselves and their families at great risk," Judge Porzio wrote. increase.
In March, New York City Mayor Eric Adams was criticized for allowing unvaccinated players to play home games while a ban on unvaccinated city employees was still in effect.