A New York state judge ruled Wednesday that 10 employees fired by the New York City Department of Education for refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine have to be reinstated with back pay.

In a win for opponents of vaccine mandates, State Supreme Court Judge Ralph J. Porzio found (pdf) that the city’s denials of religious exemptions to certain city teachers was unconstitutional, capricious, and arbitrary. In the case, principals, teachers, and other school workers filed a lawsuit sponsored by the anti-mandate Children’s Health Defense against the Department of Education after their attempts to claim a religious accommodation for the mandate were denied.

“This Court sees no rational basis for not allowing unvaccinated classroom teachers in amongst an admitted population of primarily unvaccinated students,” Judge Porzio wrote. “As such, the decision to summarily deny the classroom teachers amongst the Panel Petitioners based on an undue hardship, without any further evidence of individualized analysis, is arbitrary, capricious, and unreasonable. As such, each classroom teacher amongst the Panel Petitioners is entitled to a religious exemption from the Vaccine Mandate.”

The judge also criticized the city’s assertion that allowing classroom teachers to get a religious exemption would place undue hardship on the city, calling the claim “arbitrary, capricious, and unreasonable.”

Posted in

Iron Will

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.