Written by Hudson Crozier
What happened: In 2021, New York City mandated that all government workers get vaccinated against COVID-19, which led to over 1,700 city employees losing their jobs. On Tuesday, the New York Supreme Court, ruling in favor of 16 unvaccinated sanitation workers who sued the city, ordered NYC to rehire and pay back wages to all who were fired for refusing to get vaccinated.
The reasoning: While much of the ruling focuses on legal issues caused by the mandate, the court noted that “being vaccinated does not prevent an individual from contracting or transmitting COVID-19.” Moreover, the workers proved with “laboratory documentation” that they had developed “natural immunity to COVID-19 from prior infection(s).”
This aligns with the facts: After millions of unvaccinated Americans lost their jobs based on the narrative that the vaccine would end the pandemic, the CDC, Pfizer, and multiple studies have confirmed that it doesn’t prevent infection or transmission of the virus.
Why it matters: Government leaders spent over a year barring Americans from their jobs and public spaces while silencing them via social media over vaccine skepticism. After Florida's recent warning about health risks from the vaccine, the New York Supreme Court’s ruling adds another level of legal legitimacy to concerns over vaccine mandates.