New York Police Union Sues to Block Covid Vaccine Mandate
(Bloomberg) -- New York City’s police union sued to block a vaccine mandate for municipal workers that Mayor Bill de Blasio implemented last week.
The mandate was “far broader and more coercive” than similar measures taken by the federal government and other states and municipalities at a time when Covid infection rates are declining, the Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York Police said in a lawsuit filed Monday in state court in Staten Island.
“The city has provided no explanation, much less a rational one, for the need to violate autonomy and privacy of NYPD officers in such a severe manner, on the threat of termination,” the union said.
De Blasio said last week that the city will begin bargaining with municipal unions about how to respond to the impact of the mandate and how to get shots to about 46,000 unvaccinated employees.
“Every effort to stop the city’s vaccine mandates has failed in court, and we believe this suit by the PBA will meet the same fate, the city’s Law Department said in a statement. “The city’s vaccine mandates are lawful and keep New Yorkers safe. We’ll review the case.”
Workers who refuse will be placed on unpaid leave, while employees who get their first shot at a city-run site will receive an extra $500 in their paycheck. The benefit, which the city expects will cost as much as $23 million, will end on Oct. 29. That’s the deadline for employees to submit proof they have received at least one dose.
Hours after the mandate was announced, the union, which represents 24,000 uniformed cops, pledged to challenge the requirement in court.
The case is Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York, 85224/2021, New York State Supreme Court, Richmound County.
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