A New York Supreme Court judge ruled that several city teachers who refused to take the COVID-19 vaccines were to be reinstated and to be paid their backpay because their religious rights were violated.
State Supreme Court Judge Ralph J. Porzio ruled that the city school systems automatic refusal of allowing religious exemptions from the COVID vaccines was a violation of the teachers’ rights, Fox News reported.
“This Court sees no rational basis for not allowing unvaccinated classroom teachers in amongst an admitted population of primarily unvaccinated students,” the judge wrote in his 22-page opinion. “As such, the decision to summarily deny the classroom teachers amongst the Panel Petitioners based on an undue hardship, without any further evidence of individualized analysis, is arbitrary, capricious, and unreasonable. As such, each classroom teacher amongst the Panel Petitioners is entitled to a religious exemption from the Vaccine Mandate.”
Thousands of city workers lost their jobs when they refused to take the scamdemic vaccines.
Sujata Gibson, lead attorney for the plaintiffs, was thrilled with the decision, saying, “The Court’s decision not only grants relief to these ten teachers, but it also sets important precedent for all other teachers denied religious accommodation.”
The ruling only pertained to employees who were denied religious exemptions.
“The Court agreed that employees were not required to submit applications through the prior unlawful process but still declined to award relief to those plaintiffs on the grounds that there were contested issues of fact as to whether these plaintiffs submitted applications under the new process,” said Gibson. “This is an error, and we will be making a motion to reargue on their behalf.”
The court also denied class certification, tailoring its ruling only for the plaintiffs before the court.
“Today’s ruling is bittersweet,” said teacher Michael Kane, who lost his job after refusing the vaccine. “While it’s an important step in the right direction, justice for only 10 of us doesn’t even scratch the surface of the injustice suffered by NYC workers as a result of this illegal mandate.”