Metro

Police union files lawsuit over COVID vaccine mandate

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The Big Apple’s largest police union filed a lawsuit Monday in a last-minute bid to overturn Mayor Bill de Blasio’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, which goes into effect for cops and all other city workers at the end of this week.

The Police Benevolent Association argues in the Staten Island Supreme Court lawsuit that the current “vax or test” policy is “sufficient enough” in curbing infections.

“The City has provided no explanation, much less a rational one, for the need to violate the autonomy and privacy of NYPD police officers in such a severe manner, on the threat of termination,” the lawsuit said.

“There is no evidence of any widespread COVID-19 infection or transmission by or among NYPD police officers since the ‘vax or test’ policy has been in place.

“To the contrary, all evidence establishes that the policy has proven effective, and it has struck the appropriate balance between encouraging vaccination and respecting the medical autonomy of the NYPD officers.”

The NYPD’s current “vax or test” policy requires unvaccinated cops to be tested weekly for COVID-19.

NYPD Police officers.
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate goes into effect for cops and all other city workers at the end of this week.
Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images

All city workers — including cops — have until this Friday to get their first dose of the COVID vaccine, Hizzoner said last week.

Those who haven’t had their first shot by Nov. 1 will be placed on unpaid leave until they show proof of vaccination.

The suit also blasts de Blasio’s new mandate as “arbitrary and capricious” and argues that the unpaid leave penalty for not getting the jab is “severe.”

In a letter to PBA members announcing the lawsuit, president Patrick Lynch said the union was also filing a request for a temporary restraining order to stop the city and NYPD from implementing the mandate while litigation is pending.

NYPD officer stands guard.
The Police Benevolent Association argues that the current “vax or test” policy is “sufficient enough” in curbing infections.
Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images

Lynch had vowed in August to take legal action against any vaccine mandate after teachers were ordered to get the shots.

A spokesperson for the Law Department hit back, telling told The Post the mandate was lawful and was put in place to keep New Yorkers safe.

“Every effort to stop the city’s vaccine mandates has failed in court, and we believe this suit by the PBA will meet the same fate,” the spokesperson said.

“The city’s vaccine mandates are lawful and keep New Yorkers safe. We’ll review the case.”

New York City Patrolman Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch.
PBA president Patrick Lynch said the union was filing a request to stop the city and NYPD from implementing the vaccine mandate while litigation is pending.
Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

At the time of de Blasio’s announcement last week, the vaccination rate among the city’s workforce stood at about 83 percent.

A source on Monday said the vaccination rate among the NYPD’s 55,000 cops and civilian members is at 72 percent.

Additional reporting by Priscilla DeGregory and Larry Celona



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