NYC Keeps Unconstitutional COVID Vaccine Mandate For Municipal Workers On Hold While Appealing Judge’s Order

The City of New York is violating the State and U.S. Constitutions in its disregard for the rights of unvaccinated municipal workers by keeping the COVID Vaccine Mandate in place for them while the City Appeals the ruling of Richmond County Supreme Court Judge Porzio. Other Judges have agreed with Judge Porzio.

The City doesn’t care, because it has unlimited taxpayer money to use or lose, so why bother to stop, despite public harm? It certainly seems that a criteria for working for the City Law Department is to squash the taxpayer in order to keep the City making money. Shameful. Listen to firefighter Paul Schweit:

One-On-One With New York Firefighter, Paul Schweit

I posted the following a few minutes after hearing about the historical ruling by Judge Porzio:

Richmond County Judge Ralph J. Porzio Ends the COVID Vaccine Mandate For All City Workers As “Unconstitutional, Arbitrary and Capricious”

Porzio decimated the anti-union war by Mayor Eric Adams and his partners against municipal workers in the conspiracy of harm started when Bill de Blasio issued his COVID Vaccine Mandate right before he left office.

Let’s discuss the more than 1,000 teachers who were terminated, and denied unemployment and all health benefits after not getting vaxxed. Nowhere in the teachers’ contract with the NYC Department of Education  (UFT CONTRACT) does it say that getting vaccinated against any virus is a term of employment. The sanitation workers’ contract doesn’t mention getting vaccinated as a term of employment, either.

This part of the mandate, then, was made up so that people would rely on the false information. I think this is called fraud.

Also, I am personally very happy with the exposure of the pattern and practice of the City Law Department’s to put any ruling made by a judge in the Supreme Court on hold if they don’t like it while they vacate the decision on appeal. Both the First Department and Second Department Appellate Courts are less than fair and unbiased.I have assisted lawyers and pro se litigants win more than 50 cases in the Supreme Court and some were appealed by the City and had to be put on hold. If the Petitioner or Plaintiff loses in the Supreme Court, and Appeals the case, there is no hold on the ruling. This makes no sense.

It’s sad that the City has to now scramble to make people believe that Porzio’s ruling affects on the individual petitioners in the Garvey case. I certainly do not agree. Judges always look to decisions already made in their Court when they write a decision. It’s called “Stare decisis: Stare decisis is the doctrine that courts will adhere to precedent in making their decisions. Stare decisis means “to stand by things decided” in Latin.  Judges don’t have to abide by this doctrine.

Let’s hope that the Secod Department holds true to their principles and agree with Judge Porzio. Then, of course, the City will use our taxpaper money to pursue vacating the Porzio decision at the Court of Appeals, and if they lose there,  to go to the U.S. Supreme Court. The decision remains on hold until all appeals are finished.

Wish it weren’t true.

Betsy Combier, Editor

New York City Keeping Public Worker COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate in Place After Ruling

by Zachary Stieber, The Epoch Times, October 25, 2022

New York City is keeping its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for public workers in place after a judge ruled it was unconstitutional.

The city is also appealing the ruling, which ordered the reinstatement of workers who sued the city after they were terminated.

“The city strongly disagrees with this ruling as the mandate is firmly grounded in law and is critical to New Yorkers’ public health. We have already filed an appeal,” a spokesperson for the city’s Law Department told The Epoch Times in an email.

“In the meantime, the mandate remains in place as this ruling pertains solely to the individual petitioners in this case. We continue to review the court’s decision, which conflicts with numerous other rulings already upholding the mandate,” the spokesperson added.

In a notice of appeal, filed on Oct. 25 with the New York Supreme Court’s Appellate Division, city lawyers suggested Supreme Court Justice Ralph Porzio erred in his ruling by pointing out that “multiple courts” have held that the vaccine mandate is “entirely lawful and rational.”

Porzio on Monday found that the mandate was unconstitutional in part because the city carved out exceptions for certain people, including artists, and because the city is preparing to rescind its private employer mandate.

“Granting exemptions for certain classes and selectively lifting … vaccination orders, while maintaining others, is simply the definition of disparate treatment,” Porzio said.

The 16 former workers who sued all worked for the New York City Department of Sanitation.

They were terminated even though their union contracts did not require being vaccinated against COVID-19.

Porzio determined the group must be reinstated and are entitled to back pay.

Porzio also declared the mandate itself was “arbitrary and capricious,” or against state law.

The city spokesperson declined to address that part of that ruling.

Mayor Eric Adams, a Democrat, did not touch on the ruling during appearances at events on Tuesday.

Chad LaVeglia, a lawyer representing the plaintiffs, had said that the ruling meant that all city employees who were fired must be reinstated.

The city not rescinding the mandate “does conflict with the decision,” LaVeglia told The Epoch Times in an email.

“The City acknowledges that the court declared the mandate unconstitutional, but is opting to keep it in place anyway. An order enjoining the City from enforcing the mandate isn’t necessary. Once the court declared it unconstitutional, the City should’ve ended it without further court intervention. The City is breaking the law by continued enforcement. And it does so at its own peril,” he added.

Harry Nespoli, president of the Uniformed Sanitationmen’s Association, told The Epoch Times that the ruling will help other lawsuits that terminated workers have filed.

Nespoli is among the union leaders who have been pressuring the city to lift the public mandate.

“I think it’s time that this city becomes whole again and they start bringing back these people back to work,” he said.

Other Mandates

New York City’s Board of Health, meanwhile, voted Tuesday to rescind the private employee and school activity mandates.

The unanimous votes mean the mandates will expire on Nov. 1.

Adams in September announced the mandates would end soon.

Asked why the public mandate was being kept in place, the mayor said at the time that “I don’t think anything dealing with COVID makes sense and there’s no logical pathway of [what] one can do.”

Board members said they voted the way they did in part because of how many New Yorkers have been vaccinated.

“Clearly, this is the right time to pull back but I did want to make the comment that I think these requirements in the moment they were initially issued made a huge difference in pushing forward vaccination rates, from which we are all benefiting today,” Dr. Joel Forman, a pediatrics professor at Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine, said before the vote. “And I’m grateful that the department made those changes then and has put us in a much better place.”

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