A New York federal judge on Tuesday temporarily blocked the state’s vaccine mandate for medical workers.
U.S. District Judge David Hurd issued an order temporarily barring the New York State Department of Health from enforcing or otherwise requiring compliance with the vaccine mandate since it does not grant religious exemptions.
A hearing for a preliminary injunction is slated for Sept. 22.
The ruling comes after a group of 17 medical workers sued the state on Monday asking to enjoin the order.
The complaint argued that the mandate violates the free exercise clause of the First Amendment as well as the 14th Amendment, which guarantees equal protection.
The suit also argues that the mandate violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on factors such as religion, gender, race and national origin.
In mid-August, then-New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoHochul tells Facebook to ‘clean up the act’ on abortion misinformation after Texas law Hospital to stop delivering babies after 30 staffers quit over vaccine mandate LIVE COVERAGE: Ways and Means begins Day 2 on .5T package MORE (D) announced that health care employees would have to start their vaccination process by Sept. 27. This mandate applied to staff at hospitals and long-term care facilities.
Cuomo’s administration said at the time that the vaccine mandate would come with limited exceptions for religious and medical reasons.
However, the most recent rule adopted by the New York State Department of Health in late August provides for covered workers to obtain medical exemptions but doesn’t have a provision for religious exemptions.
The suit named New York Gov. Kathy HochulKathy HochulOvernight Health Care — Departing FDA vaccine regulators argue against COVID-19 booster shots Overnight Hillicon Valley — Apple issues security update against spyware vulnerability Hochul tells Facebook to ‘clean up the act’ on abortion misinformation after Texas law MORE (D), New York State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker and New York Attorney General Letitia James (D).
James’s office referred comment on the suit to the New York State Department of Health, which didn’t immediately return a request for comment from The Hill.
The Hill has reached out to Hochul’s office for comment.