Feb. 15, 2022
New York City fired 1,430 city workers for failing to comply with the city government’s vaccine mandate.
Mayor Eric Adams said termination notices were sent Friday to the workers, most of whom had been on unpaid leave for months, The New York Times reported. Of the fired employees, about 900 worked for the city Department of Education, 100 for the city Housing Authority, and 36 with the police department.
Adams said that about 95% of the city’s 370,000 workers got at least one dose of vaccine by the Friday deadline, up from 84% when then-Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the mandate last October, The Times said. The newspaper reported that about 9,000 other workers are still unvaccinated and seeking exemptions.
“Our goal was always to vaccinate, not terminate, and city workers stepped up and met the goal placed before them,” Adams said in a statement issued Monday.
The workers had faced a Friday deadline to receive a first dose of vaccine unless they were newly hired. New hires were supposed to have gotten two shots of a two-dose vaccine by Friday or one shot of a one-dose vaccine. Only two new hires were among the group receiving termination notices.
The number of employees facing termination shrank in recent days. Before Friday, the vaccine deadline, about 4,000 workers still needed to get vaccinated, The Times said.
City employee unions complained about the terminations.
“Workers should not get fired. There are a lot of people who don’t believe in putting this stuff in their bodies,” Harry Nespoli, president of the Uniformed Sanitationmen’s Association, and head of the Municipal Labor Council, told The New York Post.
The Times said the action was probably the largest mass termination of municipal employees because of a COVID vaccine mandate.