We have been working very hard on the latest “mandate” from the mayor. The very first time we heard about the mayor wanting to have vaccine mandates was during a weekly City Council meeting when he stated that he was looking into all city employees get vaccinated. We immediately began to research if this was legal, and what we could do to prevent it. Our attorneys reached out to the Labor Relations Institute and found that there was case law and actual Supreme Court rulings on this, though the Supreme Court case was 1905. I believed that there must be other case law out that would prevent this from taking place. We do have constitutional rights, right?
I know we have all paid very close attention to the Methodist Employee case. The ruling from the court was that they can be fired for refusing the vaccine. I felt that this must have been because they are a private business, but its not. The Minnesota State Police just lost their case against the state of Minnesota over a full vaccine mandate. I continued to speak with the head attorney with the LRIS, and he provided case after case in which the employer has won in court over vaccine mandates.
We then reached out and had a long discussion with the mayor and city legal. The mayor agreed to give us the option of vaccination or testing twice a month. As much as we hate the testing component, we hate being told to vaccinate more. We were all surprised by the mayor’s mandate came out saying that city employees had to get the test on their own time and at their cost. Obviously, we completely disagree with this mandate. Our attorneys along with the LRIS attorney believe that this is a contract issue and that we may have to file a contract grievance as like any other mandated activity like drug testing, it must be on duty and free to employees.
Though, I am involved in the Moderna Study and have been vaccinated, I completely and firmly believe that is an individual right and no one should be forced to receive the vaccine. This fight is not over, and we continue to work with the Attorney Generals office as well as our attorneys to protect our members rights. As of today, there is still no “portal” to upload our information, and the city still does not know how or where testing will be….
To be continued……