Posted originally on TrialSite New by StaffApril 6, 2022
Vaccine mandates in New York City and New York State have been challenged and protested. Municipal workers in New York City have been terminated for not being vaccinated along with police officers. Now, it appears, court workers in New York State who haven’t complied with the state’s vaccine mandate are beginning to receive letters terminating their employment. This even after it’s clear from the science that the COVID-19 vaccines don’t stop community transmission with highly transmissible sub-variant mutants such as Omicron or BA.2.
Lawsuits to Follow
Like other government workers, the New York court employees will be filing a lawsuit against the New York State Unified Court System (NYS UCS). Administrators for the New York court system announced 103 employees have been fired and another 12 have retired or resigned for not complying with the state’s vaccine mandate. Four unvaccinated judges face misconduct charges, including a justice who sits on the state’s high court.
Judges Cannot Be Fired
On March 21st, the New York state court system informed 150 employees they would be terminated by April 4th if they didn’t get the covid shot. This included the four unvaccinated judges. According to New York State Law, judges cannot be fired by The Office of Court Administration, but judges can be barred from conducting arraignments, forced to work from home, and can be referred to the Commission for Judicial Conduct. Because the judges can’t be terminated, the unions for the court workers are claiming there’s a “double standard.” The unvaccinated court employees have been barred from courthouses until they can show proof of vaccination.
Protests Are Scheduled
More than a dozen unions representing court employees across New York will appear before the Public Employment Relations Board after the deadline, to argue the vaccine mandate violates labor laws. “We’ve got 22 people who’ve been served with this notice, and I believe that they’re going to stand by their convictions and that they are willing to lose their job over this,” said Pat Cullen, president of the Supreme Court Officers union. These are not the first protests in The Empire State over the vaccine requirement. The mandate was put into effect in September.