Hochul Says Rehiring Unvaccinated Healthcare Workers Is Not the “Right Answer”
Despite the fact that vaccination mandates are being overturned and New York is in the midst of a major healthcare worker shortage, New York Governor Kathy Hochul is standing firm on her stance about vaccinations and employment in the healthcare industry.
On Tuesday, January 24, Governor Hochul was in Rochester to talk about a lead paint program when she took unrelated questions. When the subject of rehiring healthcare workers who lost their jobs for not being vaccinated was brought up, she said that rehiring healthcare workers who were relieved of their jobs over refusal to receive a COIVID-19 vaccination was not the “right answer.”
"I don't think the answer is to have someone who comes in, who's sick, be exposed to someone who can give them COVID-19. I don't know if that's the right answer, but I'm pretty sure it's not. So, we're exploring our options."
Hochul then said that anyone who seeks health care or who goes into a nursing home should not have to worry about whether or not they’ll contract COVID-19 and should know, “we have taken all steps to protect the public health. And that includes making sure those who come in contact with them at their time of most vulnerability, when they are sick or elderly, will not pass on the virus."
In October of 2022, a New York Supreme Court judge ruled that about 1,700 New York City employees who were fired for not being vaccinated be reinstated and with back pay.
On January 13 of this month, another New York Supreme Court judge struck down a mandate that required all healthcare workers in New York to be vaccinated, saying the governor and New York State Department of Health had overreached its authority.
The New York State Department of Health sent a statement to Beckers Hospital Review following the ruling this month regarding healthcare workers being mandated to be vaccinated saying, "The state health department strongly disagrees with the judge's decision and is exploring all options."
In light of the ruling in October and the ruling in early January, many believe that Governor Hochul should rehire those who were let go from the healthcare field following their refusal to be vaccinated near the start of the pandemic.