A federal judge ruled on Tuesday that New York state cannot impose a COVID-19 vaccine mandate on healthcare workers without allowing their employers to consider religious exemption requests.
U.S. District Judge David Hurd in Albany, New York, ruled that the state’s workplace vaccination requirement conflicted with healthcare workers’ federally protected right to seek religious accommodations from their employers.
The ruling provides a test case as vaccine mandate opponents gear up to fight plans by President Joe Biden’s administration to extend COVID-19 inoculation requirements to tens of millions of unvaccinated Americans.
Vaccines have become highly politicized in the United States, where only 66% of Americans are vaccinated, well short of the initial goals of the Biden administration.
Seventeen healthcare workers opposed to the mandate sued, saying the requirement violated their rights under the U.S. Constitution and a federal civil rights law requiring employers to reasonably accommodate employees’ religious beliefs. (Read more from “Judge Rules New York Must Allow Religious Exemptions to COVID Vaccine Mandate” HERE)