NYC private sector vaccine mandate to prompt class action legal challenge

Coronavirus

A class action lawsuit targeting New York City’s upcoming private sector vaccine mandate could be filed as early as next week, an attorney said Wednesday.

“People have been told they have three weeks to get a vaccination, or they can no longer work in New York City,” attorney Louis Gelormino said.

The Staten Island attorney said hundreds of New Yorkers have already sought his help. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday that New York City would require all private sector workers to get at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot by Dec. 27. Details on enforcement are expect from the mayor’s office Dec. 15. 

Gelormino said he hopes to file the lawsuit on Dec. 17.

“We will be requesting a temporary restraining order. That is the first thing we will be demanding. That way, if the judge grants it, it will put a stop to this whole thing,” Gelormino said.

New York City employment attorney Michael Schmidt said companies should be in planning mode. 

“It’s better to spend a little bit of time planning for an eventuality that doesn’t happen than to be forced to comply with something that you hadn’t considered yet,” Schmidt said.

De Blasio remained confident Wednesday that the mandate will hold up in court. 

“I am absolutely convinced this mandate is necessary, and it is going to work,” he said.

A vaccine mandate for New York City municipal workers, already in place, is once again facing a challenge, too.

Those refusing to get vaccinated were put on unpaid leave. A new lawsuit by an NYPD detective aims to get them paid and back to work without the shot.

“Right now, it’s not changing anything,” NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said Wednesday. “There is a hearing that is going to take place. But the NYPD attorneys, as well as the city attorneys, will monitor it and go accordingly.”

The Detective Endowment Association President Paul DiGiacomo said, “We wish he and his attorney the best of luck in their quest to overturn the vaccine mandate. The DEA has steadfastly maintained from the beginning that members should have the freedom of choosing whether or not to be vaccinated.”

Late Wednesday evening, the union that represents city correction officers sued to stop the mandate imposed on its workers.

Eric Adams, the incoming New York City mayor, has stayed non-committal to the private sector mandate. 

De Blasio has said he believes the mandates will help prevent another COVID-19 shut down.

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