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New York City to Fire Thousands of Unvaccinated Employees

Despite other Democratic-led states dropping mandates, NYC's leadership is enforcing a 'vaccinate or be fired' mandate

Roughly 3,000 New York City employees face an unsure fate as one of the nation’s most extensive vaccine mandates goes into effect this week.

The mandate, implemented by former Mayor Bill de Blasio, is being upheld by the new mayor, Eric Adams. The mandate applies to all municipal employees and requires the city employees to offer proof of vaccination by Friday or risk being fired.

The mandate initially had more outstanding support when it was issued in October. At the time, President Biden had issued a similar mandate for federal employees and many other states across the country.

Mayor Adams has declined to rescind the mandate despite recent shifts in approaches toward vaccine mandates since last year.

Recent court rulings blocked President Biden from enforcing his administration’s vaccine mandates for federal employees. The President’s mandates would have been similar to New York City’s employee mandate. Additionally, the Supreme Court struck down a mandate that would have applied to private businesses with more than 100 employees.

Other cities in the U.S. have dropped vaccine mandates after facing harsh opposition and extensive concerns of personnel loss.

However, New York City has refused to budge in the face of ongoing opposition. City officials have remained unmoved by protests and lawsuits while upholding the vaccine requirements for city employees.

A group of teachers attempted to fight the vaccine mandate in court ahead of the mandate’s deadline, citing religious exemptions to the vaccine. The Supreme Court blocked their emergency appeal last week.

The city previously chose to allow exemptions for medical or religious reasons. 

This week, mayor Eric Adams said he would move forward with terminating nearly 3,000 of the city’s roughly 400,000 employees who were not vaccinated.

“We’re not firing them — people are quitting,” Adams said during a Feb. 11 press conference in the Bronx. “The responsibility is clear. We said it: ‘If you’re hired and you get this job, you have to be vaccinated. If you are not following the rules, you are making that decision.”

The layoffs come after multiple Democratic leaders have chosen to roll back mask and vaccine mandates across the country.

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