New York Hit With Class-Action Lawsuit Over Private Employer Vaccine Mandate

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news and stories relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. He is based in Maryland.
January 5, 2022 Updated: January 5, 2022

A real estate firm in New York has lodged a class-action lawsuit over the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for private employers, alleging that it violates the U.S. Constitution.

Cornerstone Realty, a Staten Island broker, filed the lawsuit on Jan. 4.

It takes aim at a mandate issued by former Mayor Bill de Blasio and continued by Mayor Eric Adams, both Democrats.

The vaccination rule forces businesses to verify that their workers have gotten a COVID-19 vaccine and to “exclude from the workplace” any worker who doesn’t provide vaccination verification.

It applies to every business that has one or more employees, as well as self-employed individuals and sole practitioners who interact with workers or the public in the course of their business. The order was meant to protect the public “against an existing threat,” even though studies show that vaccines don’t protect against transmission of the Omicron variant of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.

Even more problematic, plaintiffs said in the suit, is the lack of process for employers to challenge the rule, robbing them of their right to be heard, which is laid out in the Procedural Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Cornerstone Realty has 13 workers, not all of whom have provided verification of vaccination.

The real estate agents must travel frequently for work and can’t work remotely, according to their employer. Thus, any worker who doesn’t comply with the order must be terminated.

“If Cornerstone Realty is forced to terminate its employees without any notice period, Cornerstone Realty suffers an immediate harm because, in the current market, it can take up to six months to hire a real estate agent,” the suit reads.

“This case is not about vaccines, but about an employer’s right to be heard when the DOHMH and the City pass a sweeping—and first in the nation—law meant to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Further, the business said it wasn’t notified before the vaccine mandate went into effect on Dec. 27, 2021.

The suit asks the court to award damages and block enforcement of the mandate, the first-of-its-kind at the city level.

President Joe Biden issued a similar order for all companies with 100 or more employees that the Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on during a session on Jan. 7.

“The responsibility of the health commissioner to protect the public doesn’t stop at the doors of a private workplace. Mandating vaccinations for city workers and private sector workers who interact with others is key to our fight against COVID and furthering the city’s recovery,” a spokesman for the New York City Law Department told The Epoch Times in an email. “The mandate has been applied fairly across industries and we are confident it will survive any legal challenge.”

The case was assigned to U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly, an Obama appointee.

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news and stories relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. He is based in Maryland.