Nearly 200 Minnesota Health Care Workers Sue over COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

Nurses are seen at the intensive care unit at North Oaks hospital in Hammond, Louisiana, in August 2021
AFP

Close to 200 Minnesota healthcare workers have filed a lawsuit against their employers to halt a pending requirement that they receive the coronavirus vaccine or face possible termination.

The Associated Press reports:

The lawsuit was filed in federal court late Monday against federal officials and about 20 providers that operate hospitals and clinics across Minnesota. It contends the lack of alternatives to vaccination infringes on the constitutional rights of those employees, who range from doctors and nurses to technicians. It seeks a temporary injunction to bar any terminations or steps to put unvaccinated health workers on unpaid leave while the case plays out.

“You’re talking about people who held the hand of people dying of COVID,” Greg Erickson, the lawyer who filed the case, said in an interview with Minnesota Public Radio. “These folks risked their lives to help these patients and now they’re being terminated because their religious beliefs won’t allow them to take the vaccine? It’s really sad.”

Earlier September, President Joe Biden unveiled rules that mandate coronavirus vaccinations for workers in a variety of healthcare workplaces and will likely go into effective by mid-October.

The lawsuit comes as surveys show that a majority of voters believe people should not lose their job for opposing vaccine mandates, including a majority of independents. Results published by a recent Convention of States Action/Trafalgar Group poll found that across the board, 65 percent stated “no,” Americans shouldn’t be out of a job if they reject the vaccine, while 22.2 percent said they should be relieved from their positions. More than 12 percent said they were unsure.

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