NJ state workers file first suit against vax mandate
A day after Governor Phil Murphy's vaccine mandate went into effect for all state employees and school workers, it is facing its first legal challenge.
Two dozen judiciary and education workers have filed suit against Murphy, Chief Justice Stuart Rabner and other government officials and agencies. The suit targets Murphy's order that all state employees and school workers must provide proof of vaccination status or submit to weekly COVID testing.
Filed in federal court, the complaint alleges the mandates "violate the liberty and privacy rights protected by the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, including the right to refuse medical procedures and the right to not be medically surveilled by government actors." The suit also claims the mandates violate the Fourth Amendment "prohibition on unreasonable search and seizure."
According to Law360.com, the suit was brought by employees of public and private schools, contracted professionals and state court workers.
Cited in the filing are multiple examples of how the mandate has negatively effected the plaintiffs physical and mental well-being. One plaintiff worried about a possible carcinogen contained in the nasal swabs used for COVID testing. Another claimed extreme anxiety over any medical procedure. All raised concerns about the possibility of personal medical information being breached by third-party testers.
The Murphy administration refused to comment on the lawsuit.
As mandates have increased requiring public and private sector workers to show proof of vaccination status as a condition of employment, the number of lawsuits being filed has also increased.
However, judges have largely sided with employers and governments. President Joe Biden has been encouraging more vaccine mandates, and promised businesses he "would have their backs" if they required vaccines to work.