New York , A lawsuit has been filed in federal court challenging New York City’s sweeping mandate that requires nearly all private-sector businesses to ban unaffiliated workers from the workplace, saying the city’s coronavirus pandemic has helped Attempts to control deprive thousands of businesses from pursuing their livelihoods.
The lawsuit filed Tuesday opposes businesses such as Cornerstone Realty, a Staten Island real estate firm that is the sole named plaintiff in the case, being forced to fire unneeded workers and appeals to the city’s vaccination order. There is a lack of mechanisms for businesses to do so.
“This case is not about vaccines, but about the employer’s right to be heard,” the lawsuit said.
The order was one of the last acts of two-term Mayor Bill de Blasio before relinquishing his office at the end of the year. He set a December 27 deadline for nearly all private-sector businesses – some 184,000 businesses that employ hundreds of thousands of people – to show workers proof that they have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine . Businesses face fines of at least $1,000 for non-compliance.
The city’s new mayor, Eric Adams, has been in his job for less than a week, but he must immediately address the myriad challenges posed by COVID-19, including the latest surge that pushed the number of infections to record levels. extended to .
It remains to be seen how Adams will respond to those challenges and whether he can keep up with the measures taken by his predecessor or formulate his own pandemic policies. Before taking office, Adams reaffirmed his support for the vaccine mandate, as well as insisting on keeping de Blasio’s schools open.
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Acknowledging the pandemic’s upheaval on small businesses, Adams made no mention of the mandate in his remarks Tuesday during a visit to a struggling small business in Manhattan, where he signed an executive order he said That “reducing red tape, reducing unnecessary fines and penalties,” and “will bring relief to our heart-broken entrepreneurs.”
As the current mayor, Adams is named as the defendant, along with the Department of Health and its commissioner, in a lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn — one of several legal challenges posed by the rules and policies of government officials. has implemented it. Help stop the virus.
Nick Paolucci, a spokesman for the city’s law department, said the mandate was implemented fairly and he was confident it would survive legal challenge.
“The health commissioner’s responsibility for protecting the public does not stop at the door of a private workplace,” Paolucci said in an email. “Making vaccination mandatory for city workers and private sector workers who interact with others is critical to our fight against COVID and to advance the city’s recovery.”
The lawsuit argues that the city is infringing on business owners’ constitutional rights to survive, and New York City has no authority under federal law to impose vaccine mandates on private sector companies, although such requirements already exist. The same exist for restaurants, bars, theatres. Gyms and other indoor gathering places.
The lawsuit further argues that many companies cannot take advantage of the provisions of city rules that allow companies to allow employees to work remotely.
“As the past two years of the COVID-19 pandemic have shown, remote work is impossible for Cornerstone Realty agents, who must be physically present to show or list properties. Businesses like Cornerstone Realty are equally are located in New York City,” the lawsuit states.
The plaintiffs’ attorney, Louis Gallormino, hoped that the trial would be better off in federal court because other challenges resulted in legal setbacks in state and local courts.
Gelormino said he would seek class-action status for the case, which was filed on behalf of all of the city’s private sector employers.
“Sadly, many people have already lost their jobs because they have been fired or fired,” Gelormino said.
The new rules cover private places where work is done in the presence of another worker or member of the public. This includes not only stores, but also shared work spaces and taxis as per the requirements.
Under the city’s new rules, many more private employers will be required to verify and record each worker’s proof of COVID-19 vaccination. Workers who only got one shot should get a second shot within 45 days. Companies must display a sign confirming that they are complying with the “at a specific location” rule under city mandates.
Businesses are not required to discipline or fire non-compliant workers, but they must keep them out of the workplace. Workers seeking accommodation on religious grounds can come to work while their request is pending.
Cornerstone Realty said it has 14 employees — some of whom, the suit said, have refused to provide vaccination records to the company or have applied for medical or religious exemptions.