Seven Massachusetts State Troopers, who were previously suspended due to a COVID-19 vaccine mandate, have prevailed in a legal battle with the Massachusetts’ government and will be reinstated to their jobs, according to the State Police union in Massachusetts.
The news release from The State Police Association of Massachusetts, an independent arbitrator found that the state police violated the troopers’ rights to anti-discrimination and affirmative action.
Massachusetts State Police headquarters (John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images))
The association said that now-former Massachusetts’ Governor Charlie Baker and Department of the State Police did not give troopers “reasonable accommodations to their sincerely held religious beliefs.”
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The news follows a long fought legal battle with the Massachusetts’ government after Baker signed an executive order requiring all executive branch employees to provide proof of vaccination by October 2021 or face disciplinary action, including possible termination.
Eleven Massachusetts State Troopers and one sergeant were fired in April 2022 over their refusal to get vaccinated.
State Police Association of Massachusetts President Sgt. Michael Cherven speaks during a press conference in Boston on Oct. 18, 2021 to make a statement and answer questions regarding Governor Baker’s vaccine mandate and the deadline that took effect at midnight. (David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
State Police Association of Massachusetts hold a press conference in Boston on Oct. 18, 2021 to make a statement and answer questions regarding Governor Baker’s vaccine mandate and the deadline that took effect at midnight. He stands with Executive Board Members of SPAM Representatives from the National Troopers Coalition Representatives at the Boston Common directly across from the Massachusetts State House. (David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Following the arbitrator’s ruling on Friday, seven state troopers will be reinstated and awarded their full seniority rights and all benefits minus any interim earnings and/or unemployment compensation, according to the union news release.
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Association President Patrick McNamara called Gov. Baker’s executive order an “attack on organized labor and the rights of our members.”
“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,” McNamara said. “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.”
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McNamara said that Gov. Baker “refused to listen or work with our Association,” saying that his administration “trampled” on the fired trooper’s religious conviction.
Massachusetts State Police did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
Sarah Rumpf-Whitten is a writer on the breaking news team for Fox News Digital. You can reach her on Twitter at @s_rumpfwhitten.