This Monday, New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced that as of February 10, the Covid vaccine will no longer be mandatory for city employees. However, those who lost their jobs because they were not vaccinated may not get their jobs back.
According to the mayor, the move came after 96% of city workers were fully vaccinated and more than 80% of New Yorkers also received their first series of vaccinations.
"This is the right moment for this decision," Adams said.
Victory for city workers! After numerous protests, conversations, meetings with @NYCMayor, and the voices of the people, vaccine mandates for all city employees and visitors to public schools will be lifted! pic.twitter.com/ZoulMv6eEp
— Councilwoman Inna Vernikov (@InnaVernikov) February 6, 2023
However, despite reversing the measure, the nearly 2,000 employees who lost their jobs for refusing to get vaccinated will not be able to get their jobs back easily. The City Council said that former city workers who were fired for refusing the vaccine will not be automatically reinstated, but will have to submit an application.
"The reversal of this arbitrary mandate is something my Republican colleagues and I have long advocated for. Law enforcement and municipal workers who had their livelihoods stripped should be reinstated ASAP!" said Brooklyn-Staten Island Republican Rep. Nicole Malliotakis.
New: @NYCMayor is lifting the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for city employees.
Effective Feb. 10.
But the 1,780 ex-city workers who lost jobs for refusing the vax won’t be allowed to automatically return to former positions, City Hall said they can reapply. pic.twitter.com/FBBtdygtn6
— Bernadette Hogan (@bern_hogan) February 6, 2023
According to the New York Post, a spokesman for the mayor's office said back pay won't be paid to those laid-off workers, without giving further details. Within hours of the mandate, the unions of workers who lost their jobs announced that they would take the city to court.
"We're suing to have back pay for all the members that were put on leave without pay. One of the litigations is that it was illegal. It was a punishment and they weren't given due process," reported Uniformed Firefighters Association President James McCarthy.
Congressional Republicans seek to reinstate ousted military members
The Republican Party is working in both houses of Congress to correct the "injustice" against military members kicked out for refusing to get vaccinated and not only have them reinstated but also compensated for the pay and benefits they lost.
The bilateral bill states, "our military continues to feel the effects of the Biden administration’s reckless, misguided, and now-prohibited vaccine mandates. I’m glad that we were able to remove the COVID-19 vaccine mandate last Congress, but there is more work to do. The AMERICANS Act would correct the wrongs done to unvaccinated service members who were discharged for exercising their conscience."