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BREAKING: A federal judge has granted a preliminary injunction against New York’s vaccine mandate, specifically for health care workers. The state can always file an appeal, and likely will, but for now the injunction offers protection for health care workers who refuse the vaccine on religious grounds.
U.S. District Judge David Hurd of Utica wrote in the ruling: “[T]here is no adequate explanation from defendants about why the ‘reasonable accommodation’ that must be extended to a medically exempt healthcare worker could not similarly be extended to a healthcare worker with a sincere religious objection.”
Many healthcare workers who had been waiting for clarity from the court system on the issue of vaccine mandates were suspended from work in the meantime. Now, as hospitals and health facilities face worker shortages, these workers could return to work while the battle most certainly will continue in higher courts.
“The question is whether the State’s summary imposition of (the mandate) conflicts with plaintiffs’ and other individuals’ federally protected right to seek a religious accommodation from their individual employers,” Judge Hurd also wrote, adding that the answer was “yes.”
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul is, of course, sticking to her guns regarding mandates.
“I stand behind this mandate, and I will fight this decision in court to keep New Yorkers safe,” Hochul said.