New York City fires over 1,400 workers who failed to meet deadline for COVID-19 vaccinate

More than 1,000 of the employees had already been placed on leave for missing earlier vaccine deadlines.

Updated: February 15, 2022 - 10:19am

New York City recently fired nearly 1,500 municipal workers who failed to comply with its COVID-19 vaccine mandate, officials said Monday. 

City officials said 1,430 workers were fired Friday and that the number represents less than 1% of the city's 370,000-person workforce. The number was also far smaller than what they had predicted.

"City workers served on the front lines during the pandemic. And by getting vaccinated they are once again showing how they are willing to do the right thing to protect themselves and all New Yorkers,"  said Democrat Mayor Eric Adams. "Our goal was always to vaccinate, not terminate, and city workers stepped up and met the goal placed before them."

The mandate was put in place in October by then-Mayor Bill de Blasio. Adams appear to wait to order the firings until after it became clear enough municipal workers had been vaccinated to keep the city running without those who were unvaccinated.

In late January, as many as 4,000 workers were notified that they would have to show proof of receiving at least two doses of the vaccine if they wished to remain employed with the city. 

Hundreds of workers opted to produce evidence of vaccination following the notification. However,75% of those who received notifications had already been placed on leave without pay after missing an earlier vaccine deadline.

Nearly two-thirds of the workers who were fired worked for the city's department of education. The city's public school teachers' union said last week that about 700 of its members had signaled that they were about to be fired. Legal attempts to prevent the firings have been unsuccessful.

The city has implemented some of the strictest vaccine mandates in the country, requiring nearly all city employees to be vaccinated and ensuring that most private employers require their employees get vaccinated too.

During the second week of February, NYC averaged about 1,700 new cases of the virus per day – down from 41,000 per day at the peak of the Omicron wave at the beginning of January.

Just the News Spotlight