Federal employees with naturally acquired immunity from having had COVID sued the federal government on November 8, 2021 over President Biden’s Executive Order requiring that all federal workers get vaccinated.
Dr. Anthony Fauci and other members of the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force were also sued. The Task Force acts as the intermediate enforcer of the vaccine mandate outlined in the president’s Executive Order.
The class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas by the New Civil Liberties Alliance (NCLA), a nonpartisan, nonprofit civil liberties group. The suit contends that the vaccine mandate violates employees’ constitutional and statutory rights. The Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF), a nonprofit, nonpartisan research and educational institution based in Austin, Texas, serves as co-counsel in the case.
The federal employees named as plaintiffs in the case work for agencies including the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Secret Service. They all possess naturally acquired immunity as confirmed by recent SARS-CoV-2 antibody tests and a medical expert.
The Executive Order states that “it is necessary to require COVID-19 vaccination for all Federal employees” to halt the spread of the disease. NCLA argues in its case that the vaccine mandate undermines the constitutional rights of the plaintiffs to bodily integrity and to decline medical treatment, and their statutory right to withhold informed consent. The case further contends that the mandatory vaccine conditions their employment on their willingness to take a vaccine that is medically unnecessary for them given their existing antibody levels. Their proof of antibodies demonstrates sufficient natural immunity to protect their co-workers as well or better than approved vaccines for COVID-19.
The federal government set November 22, 2021 as the deadline for federal employees to be fully vaccinated and comply with the vaccine mandate. In order to meet that deadline, federal employees had until the end of the day on November 8, 2021 to get a full dose of one of the COVID vaccines as the government does not consider them to be fully vaccinated until two weeks after getting the final dose of a vaccine. The lawsuit cites declarations of several medical experts who attest that it is medically unnecessary for the plaintiffs to get the vaccine at this point.
The plaintiffs request temporary and permanent injunctive relief from the vaccine mandate, and a declaratory judgment that the mandate infringes upon their constitutionally and statutorily protected rights.
In a statement, Jenin Younes, NCLA Litigation Counsel said:
The federal government has joined the vast majority of employers who have implemented vaccine mandates by refusing to carve out exceptions for employees who can demonstrate that they possess naturally acquired immunity. This scientifically unsound refusal effectively forces federal workers to subject themselves to an unnecessary medical procedure, violating their rights to bodily autonomy and to decline medical interventions under the United States Constitution.
Legislation Backing Natural Immunity to COVID
Bills have been introduced in Congress that support the idea of natural immunity being an exception to the federal employee vaccine mandate.
The Options Over Terminations Act (H.R. 5741) was introduced by Congressman Dan Newhouse (R-WA). It would allow federal employees and federal contractors who provide proof of COVID–19 antibodies to be exempt from the COVID vaccine mandate.
The COVID–19 Individual Liberty Act of 2021 (H.R. 5829) was introduced by Congressman William Timmons (R-SC). One aspect of the bill is that it would allow natural immunity as a suitable alternative to being fully vaccinated.
Other Lawsuits Challenge the Federal Employee Vaccine Mandate
The class action lawsuit being brought by NCLA is not the first one to take on the vaccine mandate.
The group feds4medfreedom is working with the law firm Boyden Grey & Associates to gather plaintiffs for a case in anticipation of filing one or more lawsuits soon. For more information about this and other cases, see Vaccine Mandate for Federal Employees: Will Courts Approve New Presidential Power? Will Employees Stay or Quit?.