- Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor refused a request to block New York City’s vaccine mandate for public school employees.
- Employees who refused to get vaccinated will face suspension without pay, per city policies.
- On October 1, 90% of New York City’s public school employees were vaccinated, the mayor’s office said.
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor denied a request on Friday from New York City public school employees that she block the vaccination mandate that they are subject to.
The 148,000 employees had until Friday to get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine or else they would face suspension without pay through September 2022.
The emergency injunction was denied without any written order from Sotomayor, who did not refer the case to the full court.
On Friday, Mayor Bill de Blasio appeared on MSNBC to tout the results of his mandate.
“As of this morning, 90 percent of our Department of Education employees are vaccinated, at least one dose, 93 percent of our teachers, 98 percent of our principals,” de Blasio said. “The bottom line is this mandate has worked and the goal was to protect kids, including our youngest kids who can’t be vaccinated yet, and to ensure that families knew schools would be safe.”
De Blasio added that nearly 75% of New York City teens ages 12 to 17 have been vaccinated as the city turns its focus to vaccinating 5- to 11-year-olds once the FDA approves a vaccine for them.
The deadline, which was originally set for September 27, was pushed to October 1 following litigation between the city and a group of teachers who refused the vaccine, NBC 4 reported.
In their request for an injunction, the group of employees questioned why those who refused the shot couldn’t participate in weekly testing. De Blasio announced in August that Department of Education employees would not be permitted to receive weekly testing in lieu of the vaccine.
In response to the failed injunction, the employees’ attorney, Vinoo Varghese, had scathing comments about the mayor and the Health Commissioner, Dr. Dave Chokshi.
“We are disappointed, but the fight for our clients’ due process rights and those similarly situated will go on,” Varghese told Insider. “This is about the kids, who the mayor & Dr. Chokshi don’t care about. So the children will suffer and so will fantastic public employees.”