With the vaccination deadline approaching, NYC's largest police union is suing for unvaccinated officers to continue working

·2 min read
In this Oct. 5, 2020, file photo, New York Police Department officers in masks stand during a service at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York to honor 46 colleagues who have died due to COVID-19 related illness.
In this Oct. 5, 2020, file photo, New York Police Department officers in masks stand during a service at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York to honor 46 colleagues who have died due to COVID-19 related illness. AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File
  • Mayor Bill de Blasio mandated city workers must receive one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by Friday.

  • The union's lawsuit argues that officers did not have enough time to seek vaccination exemptions.

  • Nearly 70% of NYPD employees have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

With one week left to get vaccinated, New York City's largest police union, the Police Benevolent Association (PBA), filed a lawsuit Monday in Staten Island Supreme Court over the state's vaccination mandate for municipal employees, The New York Times reported.

The union's lawsuit claimed the mandate does not contain enough protections for those with religious objections to getting vaccinated and argues that officers did not have enough time to seek such exemptions. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced last Wednesday that all municipal workers are required to receive at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by October 29.

"Vaccinations are critical to combatting the COVID-19 pandemic. This mandate is a bold step that protects our families, friends, and communities, including those that are not yet eligible for the vaccine such as our city's youngest residents," said Melanie Hartzog, the city's deputy mayor for Health and Human Services.

PBA also said in the lawsuit that it opposes the current mandate because it does not allow for weekly COVID-19 testing in substitution of vaccination, an earlier approach that the union had "generally supported," according to the New York Times.

Nearly 70% of employees of the New York Police Department had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as of last week, according to The New York Times. The union said in a press release that it has filed a request for a temporary restraining order in the Staten Island court to halt the mandate's implementation while the lawsuit is pending.

Insider has reached out to PBA for comment.

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