New York City will end a controversial Covid-19 vaccine mandate for city employees this week, ending a policy that has at times pitted city leadership against its own municipal workforce.
City Hall said in a news release that the mandate, which has sparked numerous lawsuits, is set to expire Friday after the city’s Board of Health made amendments to the city’s vaccination policy.
“With more than 96 percent of city workers and more than 80 percent of New Yorkers receiving their basic COVID-19 test and more tools readily available to keep us healthy, now is the right time for this decision. “I continue to urge every New Yorker to get vaccinated, encourage, and take the necessary steps to protect themselves and those around them from COVID-19,” Democratic Mayor Eric Adams said in a statement.
Additionally, visitors to Department of Education school buildings will no longer be required to show proof of at least one dose of the vaccine, the release said.
About 1,780 city workers who were fired for not complying with the mandate will not be automatically reinstated and will have to reapply for their old jobs, the city said.
Former Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a Covid-19 vaccine requirement for all city workers in the summer of 2021, effective September. Employees who do not comply with the vaccine requirement or submit to weekly testing for CoVID-19 are at risk of losing their jobs.
At the time, the policy faced opposition from the city’s police and firefighter unions, which called the requirement an intrusion into personal health decisions. Last fall, a New York state judge reinstated 16 fire sanitation workers who did not comply with the mandate, saying the vaccination mandate violated the New York Constitution’s separation of powers doctrine, Minn. was manipulative and prejudicial and violated the equal protection of laid-off workers. Rights to Due Process
In early November, Justice Sonia Sotomayor denied a petition by a group seeking to block New York City’s vaccine requirement that had religious objections to the vaccine.
Late last year, Adams scrapped similar vaccine mandates for student athletes and private-sector employees, while maintaining the requirement for city workers.
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