The State Police Association of Massachusetts, a union representing about 1,800 state police officers, filed a lawsuit (pdf) last week asking the judge to put the mandate on hold to give the union time to "negotiate the terms and conditions of their employment" before a deadline of Oct. 17.
"The public interest is, unquestionably, best served by stopping the spread of the virus, in order to protect people from becoming ill, ensure adequate supply of medical services, and curtail the emergence of new, deadlier variants of the virus," Judge Jackie Cowin said in the decision, reported The Associated Press.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican, issued an executive order last month that would require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for all executive department employees by Oct. 17.
"Executive Department employees who are not vaccinated or approved for an exemption as of October 17, 2021 will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination … Management employees not in compliance as of October 17, 2021 will also be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination." Baker's office said in a statement.