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VIDEO: New York Mandate Podcast, Ep. 42: Restaurant Server Virginia Alleyne

"It is not easy to keep fighting.": A conversation with a 30-year veteran of the restaurant industry, who is still trying to get back on her feet after losing more than one job to NYC's mandates.
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“What people don't understand is that this plandemic has ruined lives, has made us destitute, has evicted some of us, made some of us homeless, has had a lot of us commit suicide. This is very real, and it's not over. It's not over by a damn sight. We have to keep fighting.” - Virginia Alleyne

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In this episode of the New York Mandate podcast, I talk with Virginia Alleyne, a server who has worked in the restaurant industry for 30 years, as well as holding other jobs in the service industry.

She had worked for 17 years at Yankee Stadium when that place of employment, along with her other employers, shut down due to New York State pandemic restrictions. She later lost two jobs under New York City’s private-sector COVID-19 vaccine mandate, and Yankee Stadium kept its COVID-19 vaccination requirement in place after the City officially ended the mandate.

Yankee Stadium has not responded to inquiries about its current vaccination policies.

Alleyne talked with me about what it was like as a longtime service industry worker and parent to face multiple mandates and other pandemic business shutdowns. We also talked about censorship, the obstacles she’s still facing, and the lawsuit she brought against Mayor Eric Adams and the private-sector mandate.

If you think it’s important for people to hear Virginia’s story, please share it!

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More from Virginia Alleyne:

”Stand with Virginia” GiveSendGo
A friend of Virginia Alleyne set up this GiveSendGo campaign for people who want to give her a hand.

Virginia Alleyne’s story received some major major media coverage in April 2022, shortly after she filed a lawsuit aginst Mayor Eric Adams and NYC’s private sector mandate:

Yankee Stadium waitress files lawsuit against Adams’ athlete vax exemption - New York Post

COVID curveball: Fmr Yankee Stadium waitress fired over vaccine mandate after NYC mayor exempts players - Fox News appearance with attorney James Mermigis

Fed-up Yankee Stadium worker takes legal action against NYC mayor over COVID tyranny - appearance on Glenn Beck’s show

Here are some links related to things we talked about during the episode:

Your Rights Under HIPAA
This guide from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services describes the legal rights of individuals under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). HIPAA’s Privacy Rule prohibits health care providers from sharing an individual’s health information without permission.

UNITE HERE Local 100
This union represents food service and restaurant workers in the New York/New Jersey area.

This exchange between Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett and New York City attorney and former mayoral candidate Maya Wiley occured at the July 20, 2023 Hearing on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, which addressed online censorship.

U.S Public Health Service (USPHS) Syphilis Study at Tuskegee
This clinical study conducted between 1932 and 1972 was designed to observe the natural progression of untreated syphilis. All of the participants were African-American men, and those who had syphilis were not informed about their diagnosis. Instead, they were told they were being treated for “bad blood,” and given free medical exams, meals, and burial insurance. They were not given treatment with penicillin, and more than 100 of the participants died of the disease.

10 NYCRR 2.13: Isolation and Quarantine Procedures
These regulations put in place by the Hochul administration expanded existing New York State quarantine rules to allow the health commissioner to have not only people infected with a contagious disease, but “all such persons as the State Commissioner of Health shall determine appropriate” put into involuntary quarantine by local law enforcement. Critics often refer to them as the “quarantine camp” regulations. They were struck down by a lawsuit brought by attorney Bobbie Anne Cox, but the Hochul administration is appealing.

“Key to NYC” Vaccination Mandate Executive Order
The “Key to NYC” mandate required both employees and patrons of restaurants, entertainment venues, and gyms to show proof of vaccination. It began on August 17, 2021, and was lifted on March 7, 2022.

Order of the Commissioner of Health and Mental Hygiene to Require COVID-19 Vaccination in the Workplace
This is the order that former Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi issued on December 13, 2021 requiring all workers in New York City who work in a workplace or interact with other workers or the public to be vaccinated. An exception to it was later added for “Performing artists and college or professional athletes.” This mandate ended on November 1, 2022.

About the New York Mandate Podcast

The New York Mandate Podcast is an ongoing series of conversations exploring the costs and consequences of vaccine mandates in New York City. I talk with workers, students, and parents who have been directly affected by the mandates, as well as legal and policy experts.

In late 2021, the City introduced a series of requirements for workers to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. These requirements were put in place through executive orders issued by the administration of former mayor Bill de Blasio. They covered nearly all workers in New York City, in both the public and private sectors. They also barred unvaccinated adults, including parents, from schools.

Current mayor Eric Adams kept the mandates in place until November 1, 2022 for the private sector and February 10, 2023 for City workers, and has encouraged private employers to put their own vaccine requirements in place.

The views expressed in the New York Mandate podcast are the personal opinions of the people speaking, and are not intended to provide medical or legal advice.

Join the Conversation

Have you lost your job, been put on leave, or lost opportunities to work as an independent contractor as a result of your decision not to comply with a vaccine mandate in New York? Did you take a vaccine against your wishes in order to keep your job? Please get in touch with me at NYMpodcast@protonmail.com.

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New York Mandate Podcast
Conversations with New Yorkers who are bearing the costs and consequences of New York's COVID-19 vaccine mandates.