A judge in Manhattan ruled that the COVID-19 vaccination requirement in New York City cannot be used as a reason to fire or put on administrative leave members of the city’s largest police union.
The verdict that was handed down on Friday by Supreme Court Judge Lyle E. Frank was met with an instant promise of appeal by the city.
Frank said in his decision that the city’s demand about vaccinations is “invalid to the extent that it has been used to impose a new condition of employment on existing PBA members.”
Frank issued an order that any members of the Police Benevolent Association who had been “wrongfully dismissed” or placed on unpaid leave for refusing to be vaccinated be reinstated to their positions with the New York Police Department.
“This decision confirms what we have said from the start: the vaccine mandate was an improper infringement on our members’ right to make personal medical decisions in consultation with their own health care professionals,” said Police Benevolent Association president Patrick J. Lynch.
Frank said in his ruling that the Department of Mental Health and Hygiene “exceeded” its legal authority when it ordered the requirement, which he thought had no “rational basis.”
Nicholas Paolucci, a spokesman for the City Law Department, said that Lyle’s decision “goes against every previous court decision that has upheld the obligation as a condition of employment.”