Maria Nedelcu and daughter Julia Torres (right) say Torres should get her job back with the Countryside Police Department. Torres had refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

Maria Nedelcu and daughter Julia Torres (right) say Torres should get her job back with the Countryside Police Department. Torres had refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

Countryside mum on rehiring woman fired over COVID vaccine

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By Steve Metsch

During the public comment portion of the May 24 city council meeting, Countryside resident Maria Nedelcu again questioned the officials about her daughter, Julia Torres, getting her job back with the police department.

Torres had been fired in November 2021 for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine. She had been a community service officer.

At the April 26 meeting, Nedelcu had requested to hear back from the city by May 1 regarding whether her daughter would be re-hired with backpay awarded. She said she never heard from the city.

Her reasoning is that the Illinois Labor Relations Board overturned the COVID-19 vaccine mandate imposed on city of Chicago employees in October 2021, and ordered the city to re-hire employees terminated after they refused to be vaccinated.

The state board also said those employees were due backpay for the time they were without jobs.

At the May 24 meeting, Nedelcu repeatedly asked city officials when they would respond to her request. Once again, she received no answers.

“Do you have an update on that?” she asked.

“Not at this time,” Mayor Sean McDermott said. “This is public comment. Feel free to make your comment.”

“I can’t keep on coming back and asking the same question. That’s all I have to say,” Nedelcu said.

After the meeting, she expressed frustration over the lack of a response from the city, and was unsure of  her next move.

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