News and Updates
Assuming everyone has heard the decision from SCOTUS this past week. The court ruled that OSHA cannot mandate private businesses to enforce this mandate. However, Healthcare workers still are forced to get the jab because they are federally funded with Medicare and Medicaid.
Eric Adams has stated this weekend that these rules do not apply here in NY and they will continue to push the jab. With that being said we know we will see a slew of new court cases in NYS because of the SCOTUS ruling. And the SCOTUS ruling allowed this and wants the states to determine what's "best for the people" in each state.
I attached an interesting interview that occured before the ruling with SCOTUS, with the attorney, Robert Henneke, and he explains SCOTUS thinking.
There is another big case coming up that is going to the Supreme Court. This case was filed by Liberty Counsel on behalf of more than 2000 Maine Healthcare workers. The State ignored federal law by removing RE and accomodations (like NY and Rhode Island, we are the only 3 states) So the ruling of this case will set a huge precedent for us in NY and not only for Healthcare workers but for all workers.
WIth the help of another employee we have been able to set up our own webpage that will be used for informational purposes.
I am looking into how to obtain where our union dues are going. In other words, obtaining information and if the unions give money towards politics or politicians that we do not approve of we would be able to demand that $ back.
Going back to the email update last week.
We are still speaking with and seeking different attorneys.
A few of attorneys I have spoken with state these next few court cases decisions, as mentioned above, will determine how NY can follow suit. If the Maine case does not go in favor of the people, we in NY will have a tougher time in the courts. I have reached out to several attorney's that I follow, however some do not practice law here in NY but have referred me to other attorney's. I have reached out and am awaiting responses.
I'm working with other large groups now who are fighting the illegal mandates. Some include NYAMM (healthcare workers), Uniting NYS and the teachers who were not included in Michael Kane's suit. This fight goes far deeper than our jobs, however I'm speaking with them and keeping up to date on how we can all work together.
I have spoken to Patricia Finn who wants to file on the State level. She is asking for a 25K retainer.
I am still sending those that were denied, information over to PJI for them to review.
There is a small group in Long island who has hired Sheldon Karasik and he is wanting to file a 1983 suit. His retainer is $20K and $495 an hour after that.
What are 1983 actions?
Section 1983 provides an individual the right to sue state government employees and others acting "under color of state law" for civil rights violations. Section 1983 does not provide civil rights; it is a means to enforce civil rights that already exist.
If interested in joining that group please reach out to me.
We are still raising funds for our lawsuit,our fight. We have raised almost $12, 000.
https://givesendgo.com (Please remember to share this link on social media)
I have also attached another member's template of an appeal letter. Please modify it to your purpose.
It is also important to make note to HR and you are NOT resigning, NOT quitting, etc.
If anyone needs the links for EEOC, NYS or emails or addresses for OCA, they were in last week's email and can easily be found looking them up. If you need help filling out any of the forms, there are plenty of us that are willing to assist and would be helpful if you are on our telegram group.
I Hope everyone is doing well and keeping strong. I again encourage any feedback and input.
Happy New year to all of you and I hope you all were able to enjoy the holidays even through this tough time for many.
I do apologize that there hasn’t been an update in quite some time, there has been so much movement and a lot happening quickly yet not enough happening in court cases as of yet.
I have attached a template that another person in our group has drawn up to use towards your appeal. Feel free to amend as needed.
For those who have been denied, you should have started your EEOC complaint https://www.employmentlawhelp.org/cpc/discrimination
Everyone is having difficulty scheduling their phone interview, it’s best recommended that you attempt to go on around midnight and you can usually get an appt. You should also file a complaint with NYS. https://dhr.ny.gov/complaint. You will most likely get an apt with NYS before EEOC. NYS will file a complaint with EEOC on your behalf however you are encouraged to get the EEOC complaint going now this way you already have that.
Everyone that’s been denied is encouraged to file a complaint/appeal with OCA-HR. You can email Carolyn Grimaldi at email@example.com.
She has been responding quickly and passing the buck back on the committee. If she responds quickly to your email there’s no reason to send certified mail (as she’s acknowledged your email) however if she does not respond then you should follow your letter to beaver st. certified mail. Everyone denied should be asking both HR and the committee why they were denied.
I also attached a recent letter that came out from the Supreme court Reporters. Please review it and push on your union to do the same.
I have recently discovered that there are some employees who were out on covid leave, and were asked to work from home, then recently denied their RE. It is imperative to inquire to the committee and HR that you were accommodated while being home sick, however you have now been denied your REQUEST for accommodation under your Title Vii rights.
I mentioned this in the group the other day: All those that are denied: Should ask in an email to the same people and include HR referencing the court officer contract sick leave section 9,3,j,2 where if you are unfit or Deemed a harm to others that you can absolutely charge your sick time
Other court staff should have this similar in their contract just maybe under a different section We need all that were denied to push back hard! This could help those who are put out as unfit or about to be put out.
Again I encourage everyone to print out your Kronos since the shut down of the plandemic. You are able to see your time and the “notes” or excused leave when printing it out. This can only help showing that you have been working the entire plandemic including accommodations over the past several months.
We are in the process of creating a website for court employees and it will be utilized for updates.
We currently have raised around $11k on the “give send go” platform. We are creating a “go fund me” as an additional platform. As I/we are currently working with PJI we need to raise funds for the group of attorneys from PJI working here in NY. Yes they are pro-bono however that are a small group (about 6) here in NY and need to make a living as they are dedicating their time, energy and resources to all these illegal mandates in NY. PJI is currently working on the RE denials with no jab. They are also seeking more attorneys, paralegals, and staff to help them. As everyone is aware all attorneys are inundated.
We still have not retained an attorney on the other matters. We are looking at multilevel lawsuits with all court employees. We also are still waiting to see what happens with the other cases pending in NY. For those that aren’t aware, Patricia Finn had her case with NYPD detective, heard last week. The city asked for the case to be transferred to Federal court. The federal judge decided he had the authority to keep the case and he also lifted the TRO. This was based on the detective still earning his salary, not on unpaid leave, and was awaiting a decision on his RE. Therefore this was not an undue hardship. The court opened the door for Finn to amend her papers to either change or add a plaintiff or file a class action. At first Finn stated she would do a class action and by Friday, 12/31/21, she stated she would not do a class action.
Karen, in our group, has reached out to Hogan, Willig firm to hold a zoom call this coming monday. Some employees jumped in on a class action lawsuit that they advertised when all the mandates came out. It would be helpful to have as many listeners on the call and gather input afterwards, however the money collected from "give send go" is not going to this firm or anyone at this time. Again we have not retained and I am still reaching out to attorney's I have been speaking with and still reaching out to other big firms that are taking the mandate cases on. We can discuss further after the zoom on monday and get everyone's input.
There is a small group on Long Island that is hiring Sheldon Karasik, he is with America's Frontline Drs. His comments are:
"The only effective option at this point is to challenge their actions either in court or before the state or federal antidiscrimination agency. If we pursue a claim in state court, we could proceed before the NY Human Rights Agency or go directly to court, alleging in court either a violation of the state antidiscrimination law or NY Constitution's guarantee of religious freedom. Court is much quicker. Although the agency backlog isn't as bad as that existing before the federal agency (the EEOC), which is roughly ten months, there is still a fair amount of time that we would have to wait for an adjudication. Although proceeding in state court would be much faster, there is something awkward, but more importantly, likely prejudicial to us, in asking one New York state court to overturn the actions of a sister court. There are two ways to proceed in federal court. If we file a statutory discrimination claim under Title VII of the CIvil Rights Act, we must first proceed before the EEOC before going to court. The delay there, as I mentioned, is about ten months. Although we could file there and then withdraw the charge if the EEOC confirms that it can't adjudicate it in 180 days, there is still downtime awaiting their confirmation. The other way to proceed in federal court is to file a 1983 action alleging a violation of religious freedom under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. We could, by proceeding directly in federal court, also seek immediate relief through a TRO and/or a preliminary injunction. A 1983 suit does not require that we first file with the EEOC. A suit under 1983 is my recommended course of action. Assuming we seek immediate relief, the cost to get started would be $20,000. My fee of $495 an hour remains the same and, obviously, the $20,000 would be credited toward the hourly work." "A complaint can be amended as a matter of right before the defendant answers. Adding parties constitutes amending a complaint. After the defendant answers, a complaint can only be amended with leave of court. Since we would not be changing the theory of the case or adding new claims by adding parties, we should be able to get court approval to add parties after the defendant answers. John/Jane Does are permitted where naming the person creates certain potential harm to the unnamed person. Here, since they are being terminated, I don't see the harm."
I know everyone is eager to get representation however I do not think it’s in anyone’s best interests to just hire someone who might file similar or same motions that are currently pending. However if the majority of the group decides that’s what they want to do, then it will be heavily considered. But we all work in the courts and know how the process goes, and there will not be an immediate resolution.
I look forward to and appreciate all feedback and comments. More info to come this week hopefully.
Thank you everyone.
Donate here with givesendgo.com
US Court of Appeals 5th Circuit BST etc vs OSHA etc