ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Come Monday, it’s either vaccination or termination for those who work in state run hospitals and nursing homes. Security officers are among those who work at state hospitals who are being forced to make that decision. The lawsuit claims that the vaccine mandate goes against their constitutional rights.
In a newly filled lawsuit against Governor Kathy Hochul, Heath Commissioner Howard Zucker, and the New York State Health Department, 10 individual state hospital security officers are fighting for the option to have regular COVID tests instead of being mandated to get the vaccine. They say it’s unfair that teachers would have the option for regular testing, but they won’t.
“Students who are 12 years or younger can’t be vaccinated,” said Dennis Vacco. “Inherently, the population in schools is less vaccinated than the population in hospitals or in health care facilities. To say nothing of the fact that health care facilities are constructed to prevent the spread of illness within the facility.”
Former New York Attorney General Dennis Vacco represents the security officers for his Buffalo law firm and said they could lose their jobs, healthcare benefits, and seniority, if they do not get their first shot by Monday.
‘In this instance, we are alleging that the constitutional right to be free from bodily interference and to choose their own treatment is being infringed upon because our clients are being forced to choose between a state mandated treatment, the vaccination, or their employment.”
Vacco requested a temporary restraining order from the court, but it was denied Thursday. However, the lawsuit will be moving forward.
“If we ultimately prevail in the lawsuit, I think that the state is going to be responsible for damages to these employees,” said Vacco.
The state has until October 12 to respond to this lawsuit. NEWS10 reached out to members of the Governor’s Office for a statement on this issue but was told that they do not comment on pending litigation.