The lawsuit, filed last month in Los Angeles federal court, alleges the mandate violates the employees’ constitutional rights to privacy and due process. It also contends that data suggests that naturally acquired immunity may provide greater protection against the coronavirus and its variants than vaccine-induced immunity.
An application for a temporary restraining order filed Oct. 24 argues that an online portal to request medical or religious exemptions to vaccinations “has never worked.” But in his order Wednesday, U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner ruled that the argument is “fatally undermined” by the fact that all 13 plaintiffs have apparently managed to file notices of intent to request exemptions.
“Plaintiffs have not carried their burden of showing irreparable harm” from the alleged lack of an online submission portal, Klausner wrote in response to one of four plaintiff arguments the judge rejected.
A Nov. 22 hearing is scheduled to discuss the issues brought up by the application.
The suit takes issue with the ordinance’s statement that unvaccinated employees are at a greater risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19 within the workplace and risk transmitting the virus “to the public that depends on city services.”
The plaintiffs — currently 13 LAPD officers — argue that “the city does not provide any evidence to support this premise, despite mounting data suggesting fully vaccinated individuals contract and transmit the COVID-19 Delta variant just like non-vaccinated individuals.”
Among the group are officers who could not assert a medical or religious exemption to the vaccine requirement and some who have “experienced and recovered” from COVID-19, the suit states.
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