Workers Fired In New York For Refusing COVID-19 Vaccine Must Be Rehired
A recent ruling could open the door for even more fired workers to get legal retribution for their COVID-19 vaccine terminations. New York court workers who were fired for refusing to get vaccinated against COVID-19 must be rehired and given back pay.
According to the New York Post, the NY Public Employment Relations Board has ruled in favor of the workers.
Under terms of the decision issued last month, the Unified Court System must immediately 'cease and desist' from enforcing policies that require all non-judicial employees to be vaccinated or undergo regular testing.
The decision was handed down on February 24, 2023. In addition to being rehired, workers “who lost accrued leave, compensation or employment” will receive back pay with interest paid “at the maximum legal rate.” The decision will affect at least 25 court workers who are members of the New York State Court Officers Association. At least nine other unions challenged the state's vaccine mandate decision. The decision will not affect New York City workers who were fired.
New York City dropped its vaccine mandate for municipal employees, but Mayor Eric Adams said that the nearly 1,800 employees who were fired for not getting vaccinated would have to reapply for employment and would not receive back pay.
The New York State COVID-19 vaccine mandates were very divisive when they were issued. It's not clear if this decision will help other state workers who were fired and are fighting to get their jobs back. But it could lead more former employees to challenge the vaccine mandates.