A New York judge on Tuesday granted a hearing to consider a restraining order on the city's COVID-19 vaccine mandate for municipal workers, which includes police officers and firefighters.
Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Frank Nervo scheduled arguments for next week over whether to suspend the mandate in response to a lawsuit from NYPD Det. Anthony Marciano. The mandate was announced by Mayor Bill de Blasio on Oct. 20 and went into effect on Nov. 1. It requires that all city employees except jail workers receive two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine (or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine) or be placed on unpaid leave until they provide proof of vaccination.
Marciano contends that he "developed and retains a natural immunity to COVID, as demonstrated by recent blood testing," and he refuses to comply with the city's requirement. HIs lawsuit, which was filed Monday, also claims the city lacks the legal authority to issue the mandate.
"It is abundantly clear by now that the Vaccination Order is not a limited emergency health measure to prevent the spread of COVID by city employees having significant contact with the public, or by those city workers in contact with a particularly vulnerable population. The Vaccination Order applies with equal force to City employees having little or no contact with the public, and does not apply to non-City employees who may have extensive public contact," the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit follows multiple unsuccessful legal attempts by the NYPD's largest police union to stop the city's vaccine mandate for police officers.
The results of this hearing will not impact the sweeping vaccine mandate on private companies de Blasio announced on Monday, but WABC-TV reported multiple legal challenges are expected against that order too.
A Staten Island-based lawyer said Tuesday he will file a class action lawsuit against the private employer mandate on behalf of all unvaccinated workers in the city.
"We are going to be filing a class action lawsuit, we received dozens dozens of calls yesterday and dozens more today, on behalf of any employee," attorney Louis Gelormino said. "Anybody that works in NYC, that has a job in NYC, this could be from 16 years old to 75 years old, anybody that works in NYC that doesn't want to get the vaccination, we are going to be filing a class action lawsuit on their behalf."
New York City's private sector vaccine mandate will take effect on Dec. 27, four days before de Blasio leaves office.
Mayor-elect Eric Adams has said he will "evaluate" all of the city's COVID-19 policies after he takes office on Jan. 1.