Minnesota health care workers sue to block vaccine mandate

MINNEAPOLIS – Nearly 200 Minnesota health workers are suing their employers to block a pending requirement that they be vaccinated against COVID-19 or risk getting fired. 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.

According to Hubbard Broadcasting sister-station, KSTP 5 Eyewitness News, the lawsuit only lists the plaintiffs as "Mary Roe" and "John Doe." It has been filed against federal health officials and about 20 state health care providers that operate hospitals and clinics throughout the state. These workers are listed as such out of what they say is fear of employer retaliation or public harassment. The filing alleges that the lack of alternatives to vaccination violates the rights of employees, including doctors, nurses, technicians and respiratory therapists.

"Based on the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] Measure Specification, Plaintiffs’ employers are placing a substantial burden on their employees not to practice their-religious-based objection to the Covid-19 vaccination, or live under the threat of having their religious exemption withdrawn at any time," the lawsuit says, stating that the employees are claiming their religion is the reason for not receiving the vaccine. The employees also claim, based on their religious stances, that the vaccines contain "aborted fetus cells," which has been disproven numerous times.

Others state that they have already contracted COVID-19 so they qualify them "for herd immunity."

This comes as several same-initiative lawsuits have been filed across the country as the U.S. attempts to curb the spread of the virus.

Earlier this month, President Joe Biden announced a mandate that will require all workers in most health settings to be vaccinated, although most of the estimated 17 million covered by the directive have been vaccinated. The rule will become effective once the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issues final language, which is expected to submitted by the middle of next month.

Some hospitals and health care clinics have already taken on their requirements ahead of the federal decision.

The lawsuit also argues that these workers should have the option of taking regular COVID-19 tests or be transferred into roles that don’t put them in contact with patients or coworkers.