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1 Oct 2021

Tom Hals, Reuters

USA: Employees & companies' lawsuits about COVID-19 vaccine mandates

"Factbox: COVID-19 and the U.S. courts: challenges to vaccine requirements", 29 Sep 2021

U.S. employers, universities and local governments are increasingly putting COVID-19 vaccine mandates in place to contain outbreaks of the disease as infection rates remain high.

Workers who fear losing their jobs for refusing the shots are turning to the courts. The following are some of the key cases...

...In the first case considering an injunction against a private employer, a federal judge in Covington, Kentucky, upheld a vaccine requirement for staff at St. Elizabeth Healthcare, which operates facilities in the Cincinnati area. The judge said employees could refuse the vaccine and quit.

Houston Methodist Hospital, which was the first large health system to impose a COVID-19 vaccine requirement on employees, won quick dismissal of a case before an injunction was considered....

...Some states have imposed requirements that healthcare workers to get COVID-19 vaccines while other states have banned vaccine mandates for public sector workers. Both approaches have prompted legal challenges.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was sued over a vaccine requirement for customers at restaurants, theaters and gyms.

The Montana Medical Association sued to block a state law that prevents private employers in the state from requiring vaccines for employees.

In one of the first rulings, a federal judge in New Mexico on Sept. 13 upheld the state's requirement that hospital workers and state fair attendees be vaccinated, finding the order did not violate a fundamental right.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd convinced a federal judge in Miami on Aug. 8 to prevent Florida officials from enforcing a state ban on "vaccine passports." The ruling allowed the cruise line to require passengers boarding its ships in Florida to prove they had been vaccinated, without fear the company would be fined by state officials.