NYC appeals decision on police officers’ vaccination warrant

NEW YORK — New York City officials are appealing a judge’s ruling that they had no legal authority to fire members of the city’s largest police union for violating a COVID vaccination mandate -19.

State Supreme Court Justice Lyle Frank in Manhattan ruled Friday that the city’s health department warrant could not be used to fire or furlough members of the Police Benevolent Association.

Frank said it’s “undisputed” that city officials can issue vaccination warrants. But the judge said officials exceeded their authority by unilaterally creating a new term of employment, instead of going through collective bargaining.

Frank ordered the reinstatement of union members who were “wrongfully” fired or placed on unpaid leave for refusing to be vaccinated. The city immediately filed a notice of appeal, freezing the judge’s decision until the appeal was heard.

“This decision confirms what we have said all along: the vaccine mandate was an improper violation of our members’ right to make personal medical decisions in consultation with their own healthcare professionals,” the PBA president said. , Patrick Lynch, in a press release. “We will continue to fight to protect these rights.”

A spokesperson for the city’s legal department said the ruling “contradicts all other court decisions upholding warrant as a condition of employment.”

Neither the city nor the union provided information on how many union members were furloughed or fired during the term.

The decision comes days after Mayor Eric Adams announced the city was lifting its vaccination mandate for the private sector on Nov. 1.

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