Judge hands NYPD big victory: Orders officers fired over vax requirements to be reinstated

The unscientific, one-size-fits-all response to COVID from power-hungry public officials has had lasting ramifications, but even as those once considered heroes by panic porn peddlers continue to lose their jobs for refusing to submit to an overreaching ultimatum of their livelihood or their health, defenders of liberty have chalked up another victory–this time for the New York City Police Department.

Only days after NYC went forward with a decision to terminate nearly one thousand teachers and classroom aides after putting them on unpaid leave for failing to comply with COVID mandates that Mayor Eric Adams (D) removed for the private sector, a Manhattan Supreme Court Justice found in favor of the NYPD’s largest union, the Police Benevolent Association (PBA), and ruled all cops fired for refusing the jab must be reinstated.

As reported by the New York Post, Justice Lyle Frank called the decision to terminate, suspend or place officers on unpaid leave as enforced by Department of Mental Health and Hygiene standards imposed during the pandemic a “gross overstatement,” and was invalid because it went beyond “monetary sanctions” allowed for by law as it imposed “a new condition of employment.”

“To be unequivocally clear,” Frank wrote, “this Court does not deny that at the time it was issued the vaccine mandate was appropriate and lawful, the Court however does not see, nor have respondents established a legal basis or lawful authority for the DOH [city’s Department of Health] to exclude employees from the workplace and impose any other adverse employment action as an appropriate enforcement mechanism of the vaccine mandate.”

In response to the ruling, PBA President Patrick Lynch issued a statement updating members and showing support for those whose rights had been violated by the mandate imposed by then-Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) and perpetuated by Adams.

“We are currently analyzing the ruling and are awaiting information from the City regarding how it intends to comply with the judge’s orders,” Lynch stated. “However, this decision confirms what we have said from the start: the vaccine mandate was an improper infringement on our members’ right to make personal medical decisions in consultation with their own health care professionals.”

“We will continue to fight to protect those rights,” he added.

As previously reported, the mandate imposed on Oct. 29, 2021, led to the termination of roughly 1,400 city employees including members of the NYPD, FDNY, and Department of Education. After more than 800 teachers and aides were terminated for their refusal to meet the vax demands of NYC, they were shown the door bringing the total number of Ed. Dept. firings to over 2,000 regarding COVID.

Reacting to the positive news for PBA members, Uniformed Firefighters Association President Andrew Ansbro and Uniformed Fire Officers Association President Lt. James McCarthy released a joint statement regarding the FDNY, “It was only a matter of time before a common sense Judge concluded that the COVID-19 vaccination mandate was never a condition of employment.”

“The Uniformed Firefighters Association and Uniformed Fire Officers Association will send a letter to the Fire Commissioner demanding the reinstatement and remuneration of all FDNY members terminated or placed on leave without pay due to the vaccine mandate,” they added.

Rep. Lee Zeldin (NY) who is running as the Republican gubernatorial candidate against incumbent Gov. Kathy Hochul also released a statement on the ruling that read in part, “Our NYPD officers selflessly serve their communities without second thought. Throughout COVID, they were hailed as heroes, and rightfully so, but years into that fight many were fired for making a personal medical decision. This COVID vaccine mandate was the entirely wrong direction for our city and state, especially at a time when crime and violence have plagued our streets. Thankfully, the courts have struck down this unconstitutional and nonsensical mandate and stood strong with New York’s finest.”

He went on to chide Hochul who infamously spoke during service at the Brooklyn Christian Cultural Center asking attendees to be her “apostles” to pressure those “who aren’t listening to God and what God wants,” which she contended was to get the shots.

“All COVID vaccine mandates across the state must end, and everyone who was fired should be offered their jobs back with back pay. If Hochul won’t do it now, I’ll do it myself in January. Unlike Hochul, who calls on New Yorkers to be her ‘apostles’,” Zeldin stated, “I know the job of Governor is to serve the public, not be served by the public.”

A spokesperson for the city’s Law Department countered the congressman’s remarks and the judge’s ruling as they claimed to the Post, “It is at odds with every other court decision upholding the mandate as a condition of employment.”

It is unclear which court decisions they were referring to as there have been numerous in favor of those who have stood against the mandates including in Chicago where over 500 terminated health care employees were offered their jobs back after a “historic” joint settlement with Northshore University Health System.

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Kevin Haggerty

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