In a major victory for members of the NYPD’s largest police union, a judge ruled Friday cops who were fired for not getting vaccinated against the coronavirus have to be reinstated.
In the stunning decision, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Lyle Frank wrote that the city’s vaccine mandate on the Police Benevolent Association was invalid “to the extent it has been used to impose a new condition of employment” on the union.
The mandate was also invalid because it issued enforcement beyond “monetary sanctions” prescribed in the law, Frank wrote — ordering that all PBA members put on leave or canned be reinstated.
It would be a “gross overstatement” of the city’s Department of Mental Health and Hygiene to say it could enforce the vaccine mandate through termination, unpaid leave or suspension, Frank said.
“To be unequivocally clear, this Court does not deny that at the time it was issued the vaccine mandate was appropriate and lawful,” the ruling stated. But the city hadn’t “established a legal basis or lawful authority for the DOH to exclude employees from the workplace and impose any other adverse employment action as an appropriate enforcement mechanism of the vaccine mandate.”