Judge Laurence Love sided with New York City on Wednesday, allowing Mayor Bill De Blasio to go ahead with the COVID vaccine mandate for Department of Education employees, including school teachers and staff.
The judge lifted a temporary restraining order, finding municipal unions "will be unable to establish a likelihood of ultimate success on the merits."
The decision further said the unions are "similarly unlikely to be able to establish an irreparable harm as the loss of employment is compensable by money damages and reinstatement to said employment and will be similarly unable to prevail in a balancing of the equities as the health interests of the general public far outweigh petitioners' interests."
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Municipal Labor Committee Chair Harry Nespoli released a statement in response to the vaccination ruling:
"This case has already led to progress in protecting the rights of our members, since the city - in the wake of the court's initial issuance of the restraining order -admitted that there can be exceptions to the vaccine mandate," Nespoli said. "The court -- while lifting the restraining order -- has not made a final decision, and we are preparing additional material to support our case."
A final decision will be made in the coming days, but the judge indicated that the city's mandate, which takes effect Monday, will stand.
The mayor's spokesperson calls this "great news in the fight against COVID and a victory for vaccines."
The judge said the only reason he issued the temporary restraining order in the first place was to ensure there was a medical and religious exemption.
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