The New York Supreme Court ruled this week thousands of people who lost their jobs because they didn’t get a COVID-19 vaccine can now go back to work. Some will also receive back pay.
Around 1,700 New York City employees lost their jobs for not being vaccinated earlier this year. Most of them were firefighters and police officers.
New York’s Supreme Court said this week, though, that all of those workers fired by the city need to be reinstated with back pay. The court said being vaccinated does not prevent someone from contracting or transmitting COVID-19.
There were two vaccine mandates in New York City: One on private employers and one on city workers. The city issued exemptions for athletes and performers, under the private employer mandate, but no exemptions were given to municipal workers. The court found the city was acting arbitrarily when it made its ruling on Monday.
But as of Tuesday, the city still had not rescinded the vaccine mandate on municipal workers.
City leaders did, however, vote to rescind the vaccine mandate on private employers effective November 1, a mandate which was enacted by former Mayor Bill de Blasio (D).
Private employers will still be permitted to require their workers get vaccinated. Even with vaccine mandates being repealed, many private employers and government offices are having a hard time filling open positions.
Dozens of people were fired in Massachusetts when Gov. Charlie Baker (R) said all executive branch workers had to be vaccinated. Now, the state is trying to hire back many of those same people.