Judge rules against St. Paul employee vaccination mandate

The city of St. Paul’s mandate requiring city employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 can’t be enforced for unionized employees.

Ramsey County District Court Chief Judge Leonardo Castro invalidated the order on Thursday, saying the city’s policy violates fair labor law.

RELATED: St. Paul Police Federation files lawsuit over COVID-19 vaccine mandate

In October, the city announced that all city employees would be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of 2021. It prompted lawsuits from several unions, including the St. Paul police and firefighters unions, which claimed that the mandate violated their collective bargaining agreements.

RELATED: Judge puts vaccine mandate on hold for St. Paul city employees

In December, a judge temporarily blocked the mandate and told the city and unions to keep negotiating.

Castro’s ruling permanently stops the city from implementing the policy until the city and unions reach a negotiated agreement on COVID-19 vaccination requirements.

Kamal Baker, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter’s press secretary, issued the following statement to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS:

“The City is reviewing the court’s decision and is considering the best path forward to reduce the spread and severity of COVID-19 to ensure the safety of our employees and residents. We remain committed to our efforts to have a fully vaccinated workforce.”

Kamal Baker, press secretary for St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter