“This vaccine mandate is arbitrary and capricious due to the fact that it targets certain establishments but not others,” wrote the plaintiffs, led by a group called the Independent Restaurant Owners Association Rescue, in a suit filed Tuesday. They said that the rule prevents people who choose not to be vaccinated from doing their jobs, and that it infringes on their religious freedom. They are seeking a permanent injunction against the order.
In response to a question asked about the lawsuit during a press conference on Wednesday, Mayor de Blasio said that he has “tremendous confidence that we’re in a very strong legal position,” with regards to the order, noting that he’d keep comments limited when discussing a lawsuit.
Restaurant groups and owners had mixed feelings when the New York City mandate was announced earlier this month.
The “requirement is far from ideal,” said NYC Hospitality Alliance Executive Director Andrew Rigie at the time, adding that it would “pose economic and operational challenges to restaurants.” But, he noted, the requirement “ultimately may prove an essential move.” The NYC Hospitality Alliance was not part of Tuesday’s suit.
— CNN’s Travis Caldwell contributed to this report.