3,000 workers lost jobs in NYC over vaccine rules

After failing to get vaccinated against coronavirus by the city’s deadline, around 3,000 teachers, firefighters, and other New York City workers face losing their jobs on Friday.

Despite the city’s numerous days of protests since his predecessor established the policy last year, New York City Mayor Eric Adams indicated he would not amend the restrictions.

More than 95% of the workforce has complied.

Opponents claim that the requirements infringe on their right to privacy.

More protests are expected on Friday, and opponents have launched a slew of judicial challenges, claiming, for example, that the laws violate religious freedom protections.

However, while the US Supreme Court recently overturned a nationwide policy requiring immunisation or weekly tests for employees of large corporations, it has declined to take a position on more localised regulations.

At a press conference, New York City Mayor Eric Adams stated that the city was not firing staff, but rather “people are departing.”

Since the rule went into force last October, many of the 3,000 unvaccinated have been on unpaid leave. Approximately 1,000 more employees, who were hired after the obligation was published and consented to obtain the vaccines, could lose their jobs on Friday if they do not submit proof of vaccination.

New York City, which was in the epicentre of the epidemic when it first struck in 2020, isn’t alone among US cities in requiring public employees to get the vaccine, which doctors say is the safest approach to prevent illness.

Similar restrictions have been adopted in cities and states such as San Francisco, Boston, and Chicago, which normally allow employees to seek exemptions.

Many health workers are subject to mandates as a result of state or national regulations, and some large businesses have implemented mandates as well.

More than 85 percent of adults and more than half of eligible youngsters in New York City are completely vaccinated, compared to around 75 percent nationally.

However, there are pockets of defiance. Approximately 13,000 people asked for exemptions from the rules in New York City. About half of those requests have been processed by the city.

Bonnie Skala Kiladitis, a former elementary school teacher who has worked in Queens since 1993 and is a member of the Teachers for Option activism group’s steering council, said she had applied four times on religious grounds, thinking it should be her choice.

She stated she hasn’t heard anything regarding her job status yet, but she isn’t hopeful.

“It’s been a difficult decision, but I’m very confident in my choices,” the mother of two, 49, told media. “You don’t make someone do something they don’t want to do.”

“If it means I won’t be a teacher any longer, I’ll accept it with grief. I can’t go against my convictions “she stated “I have no desire to give up. I’m going to have to resign from the DOE [Department of Education].”

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