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New York fires 1,430 city workers for defying vaccine mandate

New York City
Posted at 7:50 PM, Feb 15, 2022

New York City fired more than a thousand workers who failed to comply with the city's COVID-19 vaccine mandate, the mayor's office said Monday.

The 1,430 workers who lost their jobs represent less than 1% of the 370,000-person city workforce and are far fewer terminations than expected before a Friday deadline to get the shots.

The city sent notices in late January to up to 4,000 workers, saying they had to show proof they got at least two doses of the vaccine or else they'd lose their jobs. Three-quarters of those workers had already been on leave without pay for months, having missed an earlier deadline for getting vaccinated in order to stay on the job.

Mayor Eric Adams' office said hundreds of workers produced proof of their vaccines or got the shots after being notified they would be fired. Of the 1,430 fired workers, about 64% worked for the city's education department.

The United Federation of Teachers, the public school teachers' union, said last week that about 700 of its members had been given notice they would be fired. The union joined with others to sue to block the firings, but a judge ruled in favor of the city on Thursday.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday dismissed an appeal from a group of Department of Education employees. New York City has imposed some of the most sweeping vaccine mandates in the country, requiring almost all city workers to be vaccinated and requiring private employers to ensure their workers get vaccinated as well.

Customers of restaurants, gym and entertainment venues also have to show proof of vaccine to enter.

This story was originally published by Alexandra Miller of Newsy, and the Associated Press contributed to this report.