Fake: Supreme Court ruled that “Covid vaccines are not vaccines”.
Fact: A New York State Supreme Court Justice recently ruled the state’s Covid-19 vaccine mandate for health care workers is “null, void and of no effect”.
Before we get too deep into the significance of this court’s decision, we need to remember this is a trial-level court and any appeal could reverse its conclusions.
A New York Court Just Reinstated Fired Unvaccinated Workers – What That Could Mean For Workers Across The Country
Tom Spiggle Senior Contributor
I’m an employment lawyer who writes about your workplace rights
Oct 28, 2022,09:37am EDT
On October 24, 2022, Judge Ralph J. Porzio issued an order essentially dismissing the Respondent’s arguments and accepting most of the Petitioners’ arguments. The order commanded that all terminated Petitioners be reinstated on October 25, 2022 and collect back pay from their date of termination.
After concluding the Petitioners’ suit was filed on time, the court held that the vaccination mandate was unlawful for several reasons.
First, it was arbitrary and capricious. The court looked at EO 62 and argued that it treated similarly situated people differently without providing evidence to support the unequal treatment.
Second, the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene violated the separation of powers doctrine. This occurred because the vaccination mandate unilaterally and indefinitely changed the terms of the Petitioners’ employment. The court stated that these were powers that the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene shouldn’t have.
Third, the vaccination mandate was effectively a legal mandate that affected the Petitioners’ conditions of employment and that the Health Commissioner of NYC didn’t have the authority to make changes to those conditions for employment. The Respondents relied on prior case law upholding vaccination requirements among healthcare workers. The court distinguished those cases because those healthcare workers had always been required to be vaccinated as a condition of employment. But this was the first time the Petitioners had ever had a vaccination requirement placed on them.
Fourth, firing the Petitioners deprived them of equal protection under the law as provided for by the NY Constitution. This was because athletes, performers and artists could be exempted from the vaccination requirement, but the Petitioner could not.
Fifth, the court noted that the Petitioners could continue working while their exemption requests were being processed. Therefore, the court felt that the vaccination mandate was never about public safety. Because if it was, any unvaccinated workers would have immediately been placed on leave until a decision concerning their requests for a coronavirus vaccine exemption.
How the Court’s Reasoning Could Affect Workers Outside NYC
Before we get too deep into the significance of this court’s decision, we need to remember this is a trial-level court and any appeal could reverse its conclusions. That being said, if the decision were to survive an appeal (NYC has reportedly filed an appeal already), it may change how employers impose vaccine mandates on their workers.