Unvaccinated City Workers to be Fired: if They do not get First Shots by Feb. 11

Unvaccinated City Workers to be Fired: if They do not get First Shots by Feb. 11

By Yehudit Garmaise

Time is up for the 3,000 unvaccinated NYPD officers, public school teachers, and other city workers who did not request religious and medical exemptions and have been on leave without pay since Nov. 1.

City workers who still have not gotten their shots by Feb. 11, will be terminated, Mayor Eric Adams said on NY1 on Friday.

“We don’t want to terminate anyone,” said Mayor Adams, three months after former Mayor Bill de Blasio’s vaccine mandate for city workers went into effect on Nov. 1, 2021. “We want people to be vaccinated and employed so the economy continues to open, and the fastest way to get it open is to have a safe environment.”

When the mayor was asked, “You don’t want to terminate then, but will you?” Mayor Adams responded, “It is up to [the city workers] to make that decision [to get vaccinated.

“I am not terminating, they are quitting.”

Last Monday, Mayor Eric Adams sent, to some unvaccinated employees, a letter that  warned them that they would be terminated if they do not get vaccinated by February 11th.

“There’s a lack of common decency for your neighbors living in a city as complex like this,” said Adams, who explained that the rule for city workers to get vaccinated keeps the city safe and equally applies to everyone. “There must be rules and we must follow them.”

“Everyone received the same level of warning, and that warning was extended, waivers were put in place. Vaccines and boosters are our most formidable weapon against a formidable opponent called COVID, and we need to be vaccinated.”

The Feb. 11 deadline, however, will not apply to the more than 14,000 city employees, who have continued working, after seeking religious and medical accommodations, and whose cases have not yet been ruled on by the city. 

Although back in November 2021, former Mayor Bill de Blasio said religious and medical exemption requests would be reviewed within seven days, however, the process is still ongoing, reported Gothamist, which also said that City Hall officials declined to share how many exemption requests have, so far, been processed, approved, and denied: despite many requests for City Hall to make that information public.

"City employees have the right to request and be granted reasonable accommodations, but we are now long past the deadline,” Comptroller Brad Lander said. “There's been a process, and the city should be transparent with how many accommodations have been granted.”

Credit: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office

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