NEW YORK – Mayor Bill de Blasio is stepping up vaccinations. It now demands that city municipal workers get them or get tested every week.
If they don’t, those workers will be out of work and he wants private companies to follow suit.
Does the mayor have the legal right to mandate the vaccine?
“Absolutely. Just like employment in the private and public sector, employees are usually at will. They could be fired for any reason,” attorney Jonathan Bell told PIX11. “Unless he is protected in any way based on race, age, religion, gender, disability and other limited protections, there is no prosecution. vaccinated are not a protected class recognized by law.
There are courts and decisions of the Federal Equal Opportunities Commission that support what the city wants to do.
“In fact, he’s not going as far as he can go,” Bell said.
It doesn’t force people to get vaccinated. It gives people the option of getting vaccinated or getting tested.
“The mayor of Blasio is completely within his rights,” Bell said.
The lawyer also said the mayor is likely to negotiate with the unions, who will likely give in after negotiations.
There are about 340,000 municipal employees and some will be adamant not to be vaccinated.
Bell said it was okay as long as people were getting tested regularly and wearing their masks.
He also said the mayor could change these policies “at any time”.
If the city imposes vaccinations, can a private company do the same?
“100% yes with limited exceptions,” including people with disabilities, according to Bell. “The employer has the right to adopt this policy.”
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