We at IDC&W Law understand the importance of time off for our hard working union clients. It is particularly critical for first responders. Recently, in response to the New York City COVID-19 vaccine mandate, the City issued a policy to penalize employees who called out sick on ordered overtime with a loss of ability to exchange work shifts with other employees. This rule was so broadly and poorly written, the employee could have been penalized for being quarantined due to exposure to or contracting COVID-19. While the matter is subject to grievance arbitration, we also fought to ensure that union members would not be harmed while the arbitration is pending. Under a unique provision of New York State law, we sought court intervention to prevent the City from implementing the policy change prior to the arbitration hearing.
Despite the Courts regularly denying injunction requests that are related to COVID-19 policies, we were able to successfully obtain a temporary restraining order in aid of arbitration. The grievance is now pending arbitration and the injunction maintaining the status quo is presently in effect.
The union was represented by IDC&W Law Partner Liam L. Castro.