As of Friday, nearly 3,000 New York City employees might lose their jobs for failing to comply with the vaccination mandate for city employees; this represents approximately 0.8 percent of a workforce of over 370,000 people.
The regulation went into force during the administration of then-Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Proof of Vaccination
On Monday, local departments were warned employees had until Friday to submit proof they received a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccination.
Around 3,000 employees were on leave without pay as of the end of last month because they had not been vaccinated. They were told they would be fired if they did not obtain the vaccination by Friday.
“We’re not canning them,” stated New York City Mayor Eric Adams at a press conference on Thursday. “People are leaving.”
He stated if someone is recruited to work for New York City, “the duty is obvious” they must be inoculated.
Eric Adams on NYC vax mandate: "We have to adhere to what we put out. … if the rules of you being employed means vaccinated and you're not, that is a decision you're making not a decision we're making as a city. I say don't quit on New York. Take your vaccine and booster shot."
— Kristian Winfield #NFTAllStar (@Krisplashed) February 8, 2022
According to the New York Times, “the loss of around 3,000 people would represent less than 1% of the city’s labor force.”
It is nonetheless thought to be the greatest workforce drop in the country in reaction to a vaccination requirement. Another 1,000 new city employees must produce proof of two dosages before Friday or risk being sacked.
“In addition to the 3,000 workers who might be dismissed, another 9,000 city workers are unvaccinated, but pursuing exemptions or collaborating with unions to prevent terminations,” the site stated.
According to municipal authorities, around 13,000 workers have sought exemptions; 54 percent of those petitions have been processed thus far. About 2,100 applications were granted, while 4,910 were declined.
“As the February 11 deadline approached, the mayor’s office claimed many of the 3,000 workers at risk of dismissal presented last-minute evidence of vaccination,” CBS New York said.
Lawsuits Against the Mandates
Although unions have objected, public officials stated the firings should not impact city services.
According to Harry Nespoli, head of the sanitation workers’ union, the department would lose skilled individuals with extensive knowledge in their sector, even if they were replaced.
On Thursday, New Yorkers for Religious Liberty Inc., a religious liberties organization, filed a lawsuit against the city.
NEW: A Catholic businessman and five Orthodox Jews, including a rabbi, are among 18 plaintiffs who are suing @NYCMayor through the @ThomasMoreSoc over the city's "Key to NYC" vaccine passport program.
The suit alleges three violations of the Constitution.https://t.co/S5stVCUmv1
— Jon Brown (@JonBrownDC) February 9, 2022
According to the complaint, “no other city in the state imposes vaccination as a mandatory requirement for all workers.”
On Wednesday, Democrat Governor Kathy Hochul of New York confirmed the repeal of the state’s indoor mask requirement for companies, which required customers to provide proof of complete vaccination status or wear a mask when indoors.
The requirement was slated to expire on Thursday. Hochul declared she would let it pass. Hochul’s mask policy has been challenged in court.
“It was just two months ago that it was put in place as an emergency interim solution,” Hochul said on Wednesday.
“At this time, we believe it is the correct option to withdraw this restriction for indoor companies and allow counties, localities, and enterprises to make their judgments about masks and vaccine requirements.”