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N.Y. State Courts to Fire 103 for Refusing Covid Vaccine Mandate

April 6, 2022, 8:40 PM

New York state will fire 103 court employees for failing to comply with a Covid-19 vaccine mandate, which also could lead to disciplinary actions against four judges that have yet to be immunized.

Termination letters will be sent tomorrow, Lucien Chalfen, a spokesman for the court system, said Wednesday in a statement. A total of 156 non-judicial employees were notified on March 21 that they weren’t in compliance with last year’s mandate and would be terminated if they didn’t get a shot within 14 days. Of those, one resigned, 11 opted to retire and 41 will now return to work, Chalfen said.

New York’s state court system has more than 14,500 non-judicial employees and 1,350 judges.

Four judges, including two in New York City, remain barred from court facilities, must work from home and cannot conduct arraignments, Chalfen said. While the jurists weren’t identified, Jenny Rivera, an associate judge on the state’s top court in Albany, has been participating in court arguments remotely since she was reportedly banned from the courthouse last year for failing to get a vaccine.

Rivera didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment sent through Gary Spencer, a spokesman for the Court of Appeals.

“We had made it clear from the outset that any judge not in and continuing not to be in compliance subjects themselves to a referral to the Commission on Judicial Conduct for their determination,” Chalfen said.

New York City fired more than 1,400 public employees for not getting vaccinated, an issue that stoked anger among municipal workers following Mayor Eric Adams’s decision to exempt athletes and performers from citywide public and private employer vaccine mandates.

--With assistance from Shelly Banjo.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Chris Dolmetsch in Federal Court in Manhattan at cdolmetsch@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Katia Porzecanski at kporzecansk1@bloomberg.net

Steve Stroth

© 2022 Bloomberg L.P. All rights reserved. Used with permission.