New York’s municipal unions sued the city Thursday, saying Mayor Bill de Blasio’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate infringes on workers’ rights to due process and religious freedom.
The lawsuit takes aim at a de Blasio executive order that requires Department of Education employees to receive at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by Sept. 27 in order to return to work.
The legal challenge comes as the city prepares to order the return of in-person work for its 300,000 municipal employees Monday.
Although the mayor’s order currently covers only the DOE, unions for the Police, Fire and Sanitation departments and others joined the suit.
“Our fear is there’s a vaccination-only policy headed our way. We want to make sure we keep the test-or-vaccine policy,” said Ignazio Azzara, president of the Uniformed Santiation Chiefs Association, who is party to the lawsuit. “We’re not against the vaccine, but our members have made it clear to us that they want a choice. We’d like the courts to decide what should be done.”