1,400 New York City workers fired over vaccine mandate
More than 1,400 New York City workers were fired on Friday for not complying with a COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
City officials said 1,430 city employees were terminated after they were on unpaid leave for months over their refusal to get the vaccine, WABC-New York reported.
The city agencies with the largest termination rates were the Education Department and Housing Authority. The Education Department had 914 employees fired and the Housing Authority had 101 workers terminated.
The city only had to fire two individuals who were hired after Aug. 2 and most workers kept their jobs and were vaccinated.
City officials said during the unvaccinated employees’ unpaid leave, 939 workers decided to get the shot, according to the local outlet.
Since the employees were already on unpaid leave for months, the city does not expect disruptions in services from the firings.
This is the first round of terminations for those who went against the vaccine mandate with around 3,000 employees having been placed on unpaid leave due to the requirement.
“We have to be very clear — people must be vaccinated if they are New York City employees. Everyone understood that,” Mayor Eric Adams (D) said.
“We don’t want to terminate anyone. We want people to be vaccinated and employed so that our economy continues to open.”
The mandate was implemented under former Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio and has received backlash and protests and is facing a number of lawsuits.