Monday, September 13, 2021

Suit Challenges Absence Of Religious Exemptions In New York's Vaccine Mandate For Health Care Workers

Suit was filed Friday in a New York federal district court by New York health care workers challenging the absence of religious exemptions in New York state's mandate that all health care workers be vaccinated against COVID-19. The complaint (full text) in John Doe I v. Hochul, (ED NY, filed 9/10/2021) and the accompanying motion and memorandum of law (full text) seeking a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction allege free exercise, equal protection and Title VII violations, among others. Plaintiffs allege in part:

Plaintiffs’ sincerely held religious beliefs, rooted in the above Scriptures, preclude them from accepting any one of the three currently available COVID-19 vaccines derived from, produced or manufactured by, tested on, developed with, or otherwise connected to aborted fetal cell lines.

The suit, filed by Liberty Counsel (press release) is similar to one filed by the same organization last month against the state of Maine. (See prior posting.) Yesterday's New York Times carried a lengthy article on the growing reliance on religious objections to COVID-19 vaccinations.

UPDATE: A similar suit was filed on Monday in the Northern District of New York on behalf of health care personnel, brought by the Thomas More Society.  Dr. A. v. Hochul, (ND NY, filed 9/13/2021) (full text of complaint).