Attorney Michael Sussman is On the Case, Again
We have raised all the money we need!
by Michael Kane
Two NYC DOE employees placed on unpaid leave for refusing to consent to mandatory in-school COVID testing are suing their employer demanding to be reinstated into their positions along with damages and all lost income.
We have raised all the money we need to successfully move forward with this case. Thank you so much to everyone who contributed and made this possible! We couldn’t have done it without you!
TEACHERS FOR CHOICE is once again working with legendary Harvard-trained civil rights attorney Michael Sussman, who won a court ordered stipulation when representing us in December of 2020 in the case KANE vs NYC DOE. That was an important case dealing with privacy rights which ensured all specimens taken during NYC in-school COVID testing would be destroyed.
But this new case is bigger!
If Sussman is successful again, a precedent will likely be set that it is unlawful to place NYC DOE employees (and possibly all New York State teachers and educators) on unpaid leave for refusing to sign the consent for in-school COVID testing. This case is even more important when considering that AVILES vs DE BLASIO, which sought a preliminary injunction against in-school PCR COVID testing for students to attend school, was recently denied in federal court. The parties involved In Aviles are very likely to appeal that decision.
TEACHERS FOR CHOICE supports rational efforts to fight the pandemic. We do not believe our members’ rights need be compromised in this community-wide effort. We also do not see the pandemic as a time for abridging fundamental rights. Under its current protocol, DOE can take volunteers and easily reach the testing numbers it wishes in each school. It need not compel teachers and staff to sign consent forms if more than enough staff are prepared to voluntarily be tested. Likewise, accepting a licensed medical doctor’s certification of a test result should satisfy any valid public health concern. This moment should NOT be about coercion. It should be about working together to get the job done. Apparently the NYC DOE (and sadly our unions as well) do not agree with such a logical approach, and they are prepared, we believe, to waste resources defending an irrational and coercive system. We are fighting the irrational position taken by our employer (and oddly supported by multiple unions) not because we do not care about public health, but because we know that encouraging cooperation is the best way forward in a democracy which respects peoples’ rights.
With this new case TEACHERS FOR CHOICE will have exceeded $10,000 in legal fees since we formed in August of 2020 fighting for our rights in a manner we believe our unions should be doing on our behalf. This further underscores why we need to divert a portion of our union dues into a Health Defense Fund as it appears certain more funding for more actions will be needed in the near future. It is an utter shame that our unions do not realize their fiduciary responsibility to protect us and our civil rights even when it may not be politically expedient for union leadership and their agenda.
Download the verified complaint written by Attorney Michael Sussman. I encourage everyone to read Sussman’s LEGAL ARGUMENT. It is brilliant!