According to the State Police Union of Massachusetts, seven Massachusetts State Troopers who had been suspended because of a COVID-19 vaccination mandate have won a legal fight with the Massachusetts government and will return to their jobs.
According to a press release by The State Police Association of Massachusetts (SPA), an independent arbitrator has found that state police officers violated troopers’ anti-discrimination rights and affirmative action.
The association claimed that the Department of State Police and former Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker did not provide troopers with “reasonable accommodation to their deeply held religious beliefs”.
This news comes after a long-fought legal battle between the Massachusetts government and Baker, who signed an executive directive requiring that all employees in the executive branch provide proof of vaccination before October 2021. Failure to do so could result in disciplinary actions including termination.
In April 2022, eleven Massachusetts State Troopers (including one sergeant) were fired for refusing to get vaccinated.
According to a union press release, following the arbitrator’s decision on Friday, 7 state troopers were reinstated, and will receive their full seniority and benefits, minus any interim wages and/or unemployment insurance.
Association President Patrick McNamara called Gov. Baker’s executive orders is an “attack on the rights and interests of organized labor.”
“Earlier today I had the distinct privilege and honor of announcing to seven of our Troopers that they will be returning to their jobs. They were suspended without pay because of due to Executive Order 595. McNamara stated that the fight started in October 2021, when the Association filed an official grievance for them. Since then, the Association is committed to making their members whole. The Association has been steadfast throughout this long and difficult grievance and arbitral process in its fight to correct the injustices committed by the Baker Administration.
McNamara stated that Gov. Baker refused to work with the Association or listen to it, claiming that his administration had “trampled on” the religious beliefs of those fired.
The Massachusetts State Police didn’t immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.