N.J. Court: Newark May Impose Employee Vaccine Mandate Without Negotiating with Union
From today’s decision in City of Newark v. Newark Police Superior Officers’ Ass’n (written by Judge Robert Gilson and joined by Judges Jose Fuentes and Katie Gummer):
We hold that the City has a non-negotiable managerial prerogative to immediately implement its COVID-19 vaccination mandate…. Consequently, we affirm the portion of the PERC Order that held that the City had a managerial prerogative to implement its COVID-19 vaccination mandate.
We reverse and vacate the restraints PERC placed on the City, including the requirement to negotiate the Negotiable Terms. The restraints imposed on the City under these circumstances impermissibly interferes with the City’s managerial prerogative to protect the health and safety of all its employees and the City residents with whom those employees come into contact. If necessary, the City and Unions can negotiate who will pay the cost of testing without interfering with the City’s prerogative, but those negotiations can take place after the mandate is implemented….
The City has not cited to any statute or regulation authorizing the City or Mayor to establish a vaccination mandate. Nevertheless, the City has a well- recognized right to hire or direct its workforce. That right, coupled with the clear national and state public policy to combat the health threats posed by COVID-19, supports the City’s authority to implement a vaccination mandate….
The Unions maintain that the [
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