Nearly 200 Minnesota health workers sue for immunization warrant
The lawsuit was filed late Monday, September 27, in a United States district court against federal health officials and about 20 Minnesota health care providers who operate hospitals and clinics statewide. She argues that the lack of alternatives to vaccination violates the rights of these employees, which range from doctors and nurses to respiratory therapists and technicians.
âYou’re talking about people who held hands with people dying from COVID,â said Minneapolis attorney Greg Erickson, who filed the case. “These people risked their lives to help these patients and now they are fired because their religious beliefs do not allow them to be vaccinated?” It’s truly sad.”
The defendants received court documents on Tuesday morning, September 28. The Minnesota Hospital Association, a business group that includes many defendants, issued a measured statement in response.
“While it is not possible for us to speak to a litigation over federal action that does not yet exist, hospitals and health systems in Minnesota have been working for many months to encourage Minnesotans to get vaccinated as the best way out of the COVID-19 pandemic, “the association’s statement read.” We have worked on all fronts to ensure people understand that vaccines are safe and effective in preventing serious illness, COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths, and we have strongly encouraged all staff to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. “
The case is one of many lawsuits filed for vaccination warrants across the country against government entities, employers or both. The case calls for a swift hearing on a temporary injunction to prohibit any dismissal or any measure to put unvaccinated health workers on unpaid leave while the case unfolds.
Judges in state and federal courts elsewhere have divided over how much leeway employees are entitled to when it comes to vaccination.
In 1905, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the government could enact vaccine requirements to protect public health. This precedent has been cited by defendants in similar lawsuits filed in recent months.
The approximately 190 plaintiffs in the Minnesota case are all listed under pseudonyms for fear of employer reprisal or public harassment.
âInstead of being hailed as heroes now, they are berated and ridiculed as ‘anti-vaccines’ or worse,â the lawsuit read.
Earlier this month, President Joe Biden announced the mandate that will require all workers in most healthcare facilities to be vaccinated, although most of the estimated 17 million covered by the directive have been. The rule will take effect once the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services release the final language, which is expected to happen by mid-October.
Some hospitals and clinics have separate requirements, which have already come into effect.
In their records, several health workers are listed as having already had COVID-19, which they say gives them natural immunity. Others say they are uncomfortable taking the available vaccines or have a religious objection.
They argue that they should instead be allowed to take regular COVID-19 tests instead or be transferred to roles that do not put them in contact with patients or colleagues.