A New York State judge reinstated 16 fired sanitation workers who failed to comply with New York’s October 2021 vaccination mandate, ruling that they should also receive back pay.
The judge found that the New York City Commissioner of Health and Mental Hygiene’s order requiring city workers to be vaccinated violated the New York Constitution’s separation of powers doctrine, was arbitrary and capricious, and violated the equal protection and due process rights of fired employees.
In Monday’s ruling, Judge Ralph Porzio wrote: “There is nothing in the secret to support the rationality of maintaining the vaccination mandate for public employees, leaving the mandate vacant for private sector workers or for certain professions, such as athletes, artists and performers. The action is arbitrary and capricious.” , clearly because we are dealing with the same unvaccinated people by the same administrative agencies.
Plaintiffs’ attorney Chad LaVeglia called the verdict a “remarkable victory” for all the hardworking men and women who have dedicated their lives to serving the public. It’s also a huge victory for individual rights and equality for all New Yorkers.”
A spokesperson for the law department gave CNN the following statement: “The city strongly disagrees with this ruling because the mandate is based on solid law and is critical to the public health of New Yorkers. We have already filed an appeal. In the meantime, the mandate remains in effect, this ruling in this case against the applicants We continue to review the judge’s decision, which already contradicts several other rulings that support the order.”
In his order, Judge Porzio found the health commissioners’ order of December 13, 2021 and the mayor’s Order 62 to be “arbitrary and capricious.”
“We have learned throughout the pandemic that the Covid-19 vaccine is not perfect. There are cases of breakthroughs, even for those who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 it is not perfect. President Joseph Biden has said that the pandemic is over. New York State ended it over a month ago. Covid-19 state of emergency,” Judge Porzio wrote.
CNN has reached out to the mayor’s office and the NYC Department of Sanitation for comment on Judge Porzio’s ruling.