Judge Temporarily Halts Vaccine Mandate for NYPD Employees, Other City Workers

A New York Supreme Court justice on Tuesday put on hold the city government’s sweeping COVID-19 vaccine mandate for city workers, which includes all NYPD employees, pending a hearing next week.

Judge Frank Nervo granted a hearing (pdf) that could lead to a restraining order against the mandate that was imposed by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Oct. 20, replacing what was originally a requirement to get the vaccine or be tested weekly for the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, which causes COVID-19.

Under the mandate, NYPD officers and other municipal workers who failed to get their first COVID-19 vaccine by Oct. 29 have been on unpaid leave since Nov. 1.

According to court papers, the hearing is scheduled for Dec. 14 at 11:30 a.m., and the mayor’s office has until Dec. 13 to respond.

Pending the hearing, de Blasio, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Dave Chokshi, and Police Commissioner Dermot Shea, New York City’s Board of Health, and the city of New York are “restrained from enforcing” the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for city workers and certain city contractors, the document states.

The mayor’s press secretary, Danielle Filson, pushed back against reports that de Blasio’s vaccine mandate has been blocked.

“This is NOT TRUE,” she said on Twitter. “The mandate has not been blocked. The Judge has not come to a decision, and won’t until the argument date.”

It comes after a New York judge on Oct. 27 denied a last-minute effort by New York City’s largest police union to halt the vaccine mandate.

Richmond County Supreme Court Judge Lizette Colon, whose court is on Staten Island, denied the Police Benevolent Association (PBA) union’s request for a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the mandate. The PBA represents about 23,000 current and retired NYPD officers.

Patrick J. Lynch, the PBA’s president, said in a statement at the time that the ruling “sets the city up for a real crisis.”

“The haphazard rollout of this mandate has created chaos in the NYPD. City Hall has given no reason that a vaccine mandate with a weekly testing option is no longer enough to protect police officers and the public, especially while the number of COVID-19 cases continues to fall,” Lynch said.

“Instead, police officers are being told to make a possibly life-changing decision in a matter of days to meet a completely arbitrary deadline, while the NYPD’s leadership spins its wheels and offers no guidance,” he added. “This not only violates police officers’ rights—it will inevitably result in fewer cops available to protect our city.”

The Epoch Times has contacted the NYPD and de Blasio’s office for comment.

Mimi Nguyen Ly contributed to this report.

Isabel van Brugen

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Isabel van Brugen is an award-winning journalist and currently a news reporter at The Epoch Times. She holds a master’s in newspaper journalism from City, University of London.

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