Stock Groups

COVID-19 and the U.S. courts: challenges to vaccine requirements By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO A nurse prepares the Pfizer BioNTech Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), vaccination in part of a vaccine drive organized by the Fernandeno Tataviam Band of Mission Indians, Arleta. This was August 23rd, 2021. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

By Tom Hals

(Reuters) – The Biden administration announced on Sept. 9 steps that will require tens of millions of Americans who have declined COVID-19 vaccines to get a shot as infection rates remain elevated, straining hospitals and weighing on economic growth.

There have been lawsuits against universities, local governments, and businesses that require students to be vaccinated.

These are just a few of the key cases.

1) Employees fighting mandates and termination

Many large U.S. employers have announced mandates, including Walmart (NYSE:) Inc, Google’s parent company Alphabet (NASDAQ:) Inc and the federal government.

According to legal experts, requiring vaccines can be one way for an employer to meet COVID-19 workplace hazards.

Plaintiffs against private companies generally claim that mandates infringe on the Constitution’s right to bodily integrity as per the 14th Amendment.

These lawsuits have so far failed to get traction.

Houston Methodist Hospital was favored by a federal judge on June 12. The case of 117 workers who claimed that the hospital violated Texas’s law regarding wrongful termination by linking their jobs to COVID-19 shots, was dismissed by Houston Methodist Hospital. The mandate didn’t violate public policy nor amount to coercion, according to the judge.

2) Challenges to mandates for students and teachers

More than 500 colleges and universities have imposed vaccine requirements and many have been challenged in court, sometimes for denying student requests to refuse the vaccine on religious grounds.

A federal judge ruled that Indiana University had acted reasonablely to safeguard public health and required vaccines or testing. He declined to block the requirement. Students could opt to go to another school, or put off their studies, if they didn’t want to get vaccinated.

In similar cases, federal courts sided with University of Massachusetts in Connecticut and University of Connecticut.

3) Lawsuits over state vaccine requirements

At least 24 states have directed some healthcare workers to get COVID-19 vaccines, sparking legal challenges.

Some local government officials have been sued, from Los Angeles to North Charleston in South Carolina. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was suing over the requirement that all customers show proof of having had a COVID-19 injection before they can enter restaurants, theatres, and gyms.

As many lawsuits were filed over the past weeks, there have been no preliminary rulings.

In Albany, a federal judge ordered New York officials temporarily to permit religious exemptions in order to comply with a vaccine mandate imposed by the state on health workers. The mandate will be effective Sept. 27.

Norwegian Cruise Line (NYSE -) Holdings Ltd convinced a Miami federal court to block Florida officials’ attempts to impose a state ban against “vaccine passports”. This ruling enabled the cruise line’s passengers to show proof of vaccination before boarding their ships. The company was not afraid to be penalized by the state.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. CFDs include futures, stocks, indexes and Forex. Prices are provided not by the exchanges. They are provided by market makers. Therefore, prices can be inaccurate and differ from actual market prices. These prices should not be used for trading. Fusion Media is not responsible for trading losses that may be incurred as a consequence of the use of this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. You should be aware of all the potential risks and expenses associated with trading in the financial market. It is among the most dangerous investment types.