A group of municipal unions — including cops, firefighters and teachers — are suing to block the city from firing unvaccinated workers ahead of a Friday deadline, court papers show.
Over two dozen unions, including the United Federation of Teachers, Uniformed Fire Officers Association and the Police Benevolent Association, say the city’s policy to “summarily” terminate on Friday city employees who lost their bids for exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine violates their right to due process, according to a Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit.
The suit says that the mandate doesn’t say that unvaccinated workers should be fired and accommodations, such as weekly COVID-19 testing and working remotely, are still viable.
“The summary separation of thousands of employees who have already been subjected to months of leave without pay … and would now be swiftly removed from health insurance coverage in the middle of a continuing pandemic should be enjoined,” the suit charges.
The suit says that termination letters went out to roughly 4,000 city workers, many of whom would face “dire” circumstances as they are currently being treated for medical conditions and illness.
“It’s not about the mandate itself or challenging that, it really is about the discrete issue that if they can deprive these workers of their due process rights and terminate them for this non-compliance then they can get around these due process rights in the future on some other issue,” Dina Kolker, one of the lawyers who filed the lawsuit, told The Post.
The city Law Department did not immediately return a request for comment.
In September, the unions sued the city, claiming the vaccine mandate was unconstitutional. A judge threw out the case a month later.