Arbitrator Upholds Chicago Police Vaccine Mandate

The sworn members of the Chi­cago Police Department who are not exempt are represented by four unions. The Fraternal Order of Police Chicago Lodge No. 7 represents officers below the rank of Sergeant. The Policemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association of Illinois has three Units: Unit 156A represents the Sergeants, Unit 156B represents the Lieutenants, and Unit 156C represents Captains. On August 25, 2021, Chicago’s Mayor announced that all City…

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Mandatory Vaccination Not Negotiable In New Jersey

The Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association filed an unfair practice charge against the Township of Ma­plewood, New Jersey, alleging that the City failed to bargain over the implementation of a policy mandating COVID-19 vaccinations as a condition of employment, dispensing with a testing option. Several Association members submitted requests for exemptions based on their religious beliefs. The requests sought the accommodation of weekly COVID testing, and the wearing of face…

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Court Turns Down Vaccination Challenge From LAPD Officers

A group of 13 Los Angeles Police Department employees sued the City in federal court, contending the City’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate violated their federal and state civil rights. The employees sought a preliminary injunction holding the mandate in abeyance pending completion of the litigation. The City responded by filing a motion to dismiss the entire lawsuit. A federal court trial judge agreed with the City and dismissed the lawsuit. The employees’ primary argument was that the mandate violated the…

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Massachusetts Courts Deny Injunctions In Vaccination Cases

The State Police Association of Massachusetts is the exclusive bargaining unit for the approximately 1,800 members of the Department of State Police. On Au­gust 19, 2021, Massachusetts’ governor issued an executive order requiring that all employees of the executive branch prove that they had received full COVID-19 vaccination by October 17, 2021 and mandating full vaccination going forward. The Order also requires that the policy provide for progressive discipline,…

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Vaccines And Employment Law

Many public employers are exploring or have implemented requirements that public safety employees provide proof of vaccination and, absent such proof, sub­mit to periodic COVID-19 testing. Some employers are simply mandating that all employees be vaccinated. The result has been a barrage of questions from employees as to the legality of these types of orders. In FAQ format, here’s LRIS’s take on the most common questions. Don’t employees have…

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Federal Court Allows Mandatory Vaccinations

On April 1, 2021, Houston Methodist Hospital announced a policy requiring all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by June 7, 2021. Jennifer Bridges and 116 fellow employees sued, raising a series of claims in attempting to overturn the mandatory vaccination rule. Federal Court Judge Lynn Hughes rejected the lawsuit. The employees focused on a claim that as the COVID-19 vaccines were “experimental and dangerous,” Texas law prohibited compulsory…

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Lawsuit Filed Challenging Mandatory Vaccination Of Corrections Employees

The general thinking has been that public safety employers have the right to impose mandatory vaccinations against COVID-19 assuming: (1) that they discharge any obligation to collectively bargain over such a program; and (2) make reasonable accommodations for employees objecting to vaccination on religious or disability grounds. A lawsuit filed several weeks ago challenges those assumptions and argues that a mandatory vaccination program violates an entirely different set of…

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