NYC Mayor Lifts COVID Vaccine Mandates For Public Employee

New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) has finally lifted the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for public employees. Adams announced the news in a Thursday statement revealing that vaccines will now be optional for the city’s workers.

“Beginning February 10, 2023, the city will make the COVID-19 vaccination requirement optional for city employees, in addition to New York City Department of Education (DOE) employees,” Adams said in the statement.

Adams also announced that the city will no longer require vaccine passports for visitors to Department of Education (DOE) school buildings, allowing students’ families and loved ones to attend school events. The city also lifted the vaccine mandates for nonpublic schools, early child care, and daycare staff.

Adams, however, noted that the approximately 1,780 former city employees who lost their jobs as a result of the vaccine mandate will not automatically get their jobs back but would have to reapply for positions with their former agencies through existing city rules and regulations and hiring processes.

The city’s new vaccine policy amendment would take effect on Feb. 10 following the city’s Board of Health meeting on Feb. 9.

Adams’ decision comes after dozens of city employees who lost their jobs for not complying with the vaccine mandates filed a multi-million lawsuit against the city. According to the New York Post, the group — made up of 72 former employees — asked a judge to overrule the mandate given that top government officials, including President Joe Biden, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) have all declared the pandemic over.

The lawsuit revealed that most of the affected employees have been unemployed for over a year and have lost their jobs and means of supporting their families.

The lawsuit, which seeks $250 million in punitive damages from the city, claimed that petitioners have been mocked for their religious beliefs, including by the city.