Second Circuit Court of Appeals Rules Against NYCDOE Employees in Broecker v. New York City Department of Education
Monday's decision affirmed a lower court's dismissal of the federal lawsuit brought by 93 NYCDOE employees put on leave without pay and terminated under the vaccine mandate.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Manhattan issued a summary order on November 13, 2023, affirming a lower court’s decision in March to dismiss a lawsuit brought by 93 current and former New York City Department of Education employees who were put on leave without pay and, in many cases, terminated under the DOE's vaccine mandate.
The decision in Broecker et al v. New York City Department of Education et al. came quickly after a November 7 hearing where attorneys made oral arguments in the appeal before a panel of three judges.
In its decision, the court rejected arguments made by plaintiffs-appellants’ attorney Austin Graff that DOE employees were deprived of their constitutional due process rights by the mandate enforcement process, writing:
“[W]e agree with the district court that plaintiffs have not pleaded any facts that would suggest that the pre- or post-deprivation processes afforded to them were constitutionally deficient.”
The court also affirmed the lower court denial of a request for a preliminary injunction against enforcing the vaccine mandate and a request to file a second amended complaint.
While the judges denied the validity of federal due process claims in the case, they left the door open to further litigation against the defendants-appellees in state courts by dismissing claims related to state due process requirements without prejudice, writing:
“To the extent that any state-law claims remain, we decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over those claims and dismiss them without prejudice.”
Defendants-appellees in the case include not only the DOE but also the employees’ unions—the UFT, CSA, and DC37—arbitrator Martin Scheinman, and several union and DOE officials.
After the November 7 hearing, Graff suggested that the case might be headed to the U.S. Supreme Court next if the Second Circuit ruled against the plaintiffs-appellants:
For more about Broecker v. NYCDOE, check out my April article on the case and my in-depth conversation with Austin Graff:
Broecker v. New York City Department of Education Federal Suit Dismissed, but Plaintiffs Are Still Fighting to Appeal
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