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Massachusetts State Troopers Reinstated After Being Fired for Refusing COVID Shots

Massachusetts state troopers

Seven Massachusetts state troopers who lost their job after refusing to comply with a COVID-19 vaccine mandate, which was ordered by a former governor in 2021, will be reinstated. An independent arbitrator ruled that the fired state troopers be offered their jobs back with full back pay, seniority rights and benefits.1

In August 2021, former Massachusetts governor, Charlie Baker, issued Executive Order No. 595 that all Executive Branch employees and contractors must get COVID shots and recommended boosters “as a condition of continuing employment.” As many as 42,000 employees and 2,000 state contractors were affected by the governor’s mandate, including teleworkers who had until Oct. 17, 2021 to receive either the Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna/NIAID or Johnson & Johnson/Janssen shots—the latter of which has been taken off the market in the United States due to safety concerns—or face “disciplinary action, up to and including termination.”2 3

The COVID shot mandate provided exceptions for medical conditions and for those with “sincerely held religious beliefs.”4 The state police union attempted to have the governor’s mandate vacated by the court, but that request was denied.5

Eight State Troopers Placed on Administrative Leave Sue Police Department

On Mar. 3, 2022, the State Police Association of Massachusetts filed a lawsuit on behalf of eight state troopers who were denied a religious exemption to the COVID vaccine mandate by the Department of the State Police and placed on administrative leave without pay. One trooper ultimately got the COVID shot and went back to work.6

Department of the State Police officials claimed that a religious accommodation could not be made “without sullying public trust, putting other officers and the public in danger, and impeding department operations” and the religious exemptions filed by the seven state troopers were denied. On Mar. 29, 2022, Judge Christine Roach of the Suffolk Superior Court issued an injunction against the police department preventing the state troopers from being fired pending the outcome of the lawsuit.7 8

Leah Barrault, an attorney representing the seven state troopers said that the religious exemption requests were not considered in a “sincere or legal way” and that the police department did not provide a “fair process and discussion to see if an accommodation is available” before being fired from their jobs.9

The Vaccine Mandate Violated Anti-Discrimination and Affirmative Action Rights

The arbitrator, Bonnie McSpirit, found that the troopers’ right to anti-discrimination and affirmative action were violated by the COVID vaccine mandate. The State Police Association of Massachusetts press release stated that the troopers were not offered “reasonable accommodations” for their “sincerely held” religious beliefs.10 11

McSpirit found that by denying a religious exemption to the state troopers, despite acknowledging that they qualified for one, the police department violated the contractual rights of the state troopers. She pointed out that the police department did not show sufficient evidence as to why accommodations could not be made for these seven state troopers in the same way religious exemptions had been granted to other state troopers. The decision ended a two-year legal battle between the state troopers and police department.12

Police Union Committed to “Making These Members Whole”

The police union issued a press release stating:

Governor Baker and his administration refused to listen or work with our Association, but today we can no longer be ignored. These members, whose religious convictions were trampled, and who were left without pay or benefits, now can choose to return to work and will be made whole through retroactive pay and earned seniority.13

State Police Association president Patrick McNamara said:

Earlier today, I had the distinct honor and privilege of informing seven of our Troopers, who have been suspended without pay due to Executive Order 595, that they would be returning to work. This fight began in October 2021 when the Association filed a grievance on their behalf. Since then, the Association has been committed to making these members whole. Through this lengthy and grueling grievance and arbitration process, the Association has remained steadfast in our fight to right the injustices of the Baker Administration.13


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5 Responses

  1. Thank God that cooler heads sometimes prevail in life. Their isn’t enough prison space available to incarcerate everyone who participates in fraud, tyranny or injustices.

    1. Understand the sentiment, but this is incorrect. If we would actually enforce our own rules, this would set an example which others would immediately follow. We could put an end to corruption and fraud immediately, if those in charge of justice systems had not long since sold out to the same temptations. Those whom coerce others should take note, as being the people whom deserve to lose their jobs, as those who belong in prison.

  2. Those whom capitulated stood on the side of evil and tyranny, ignoring what was right vs what was wrong. Their celebration of these brave few persons rights being ‘restored’ is disingenuous and false. The could have chosen to stand with freedom, instead they walked away. Cowardly to then celebrate after the fact. The mind control of the people is nearly complete. Nobody is talking about justice for the tyrants whom initiated these edicts in the first place. They argue about restoring rights and ignore the concept of protecting rights in the first place. The people are now trained, submissive, compliant, whispering on bended knee. The real pandemic is how stupid and submissive most people have become. Socialism is here.

  3. Maybe time to rethink the governor? Everyone seem to forget ‘my body my choice’ when government started pushing the jab

  4. Any updates for health care workers? I am grateful that I am reinstated with weekly testing option. However it’s nonsense situation. People sick from COVID work if they feel so while I had to test weekly. I was on unpaid for months., my pension is affected. I work in public sector. I am still stigmatized and have no idea what rules my EH department follows. I lost thousands and all vacation time. If I go for facial my PCR could turn positive and even asymptomatic will have to take a week off. I happened to me once and I understand. However no fully vaccinated person has to make this sacrifice. I am vaccine injured and partially vaccinated and every October fear again from loosing job over new vaccine mandate or getting autoimmune flares if I choose to get the shot. And no shot is good to me any more, fly, swine fly, COVID – all caused me more harm than benefit.

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