Seven Massachusetts state troopers fired over vaccine refusal for religious reasons were reinstated due to an arbitrator ruling on rights violation.
Terminated in 2022 for Refusing COVID-19 Vaccine
An impartial arbitrator ruled on Friday in favor of seven Massachusetts state troopers who were terminated in 2022 for declining to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, which was mandated by the then-governor.
They Didn’t Meet the Vaccine Deadline
Reportedly, the troopers’ decision not to be vaccinated by the October 2021 deadline set by former Governor Charlie Baker was grounded in their religious convictions.
They Argued Their Firing Was Unlawful
The State Police Association of Massachusetts argued that the administration’s actions were unlawful, as they failed to accommodate sincerely held religious beliefs.
Governor Mandated Vaccines for All Troopers
Out of the troopers, seven were dismissed for their refusal to be vaccinated after Governor Baker, a Republican, announced that all state troopers must either receive the vaccine or face termination.
Objections Were Raised
SPAM officials raised objections, asserting that the governor and the Department of the State Police did not provide troopers with “reasonable accommodations for their sincerely held religious beliefs.”
An Attack on Member Rights
SPAM President Patrick McNamara stated, “Executive Order 595 was not just an insult to the dedicated members of the Mass State Police; it was an attack on organized labor and our members’ rights.”
State Police Violated Their Rights
A press release from the State Police Association noted that the independent arbitrator found the state police had violated the troopers’ rights to anti-discrimination and affirmative action.
They All Got Their Jobs Back
As a result of the arbitrator’s decision, the seven state troopers will be reinstated to their positions with full seniority privileges and all associated benefits, as outlined in the union’s press release.
‘They Will Be Returning to Work’
McNamara conveyed, “Today, I had the privilege of informing seven of our Troopers, who were suspended without pay due to Executive Order 595, that they will be returning to work.”
Seeking Justice for Those Fired
McNamara further added, “This battle commenced in October 2021 when the Association submitted a grievance on their behalf. Since then, the Association has been resolute in seeking redress for these members.”
Fighting to Rectify Injustices
She continued, “Throughout the extensive and demanding grievance and arbitration process, the Association has steadfastly fought to rectify the injustices perpetrated by the Baker Administration.”
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