Texas Employees Sue Health Care Company Over COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

Employees of CARIS Life Sciences filed a lawsuit against the Texas health care company on Tuesday over its COVID-19 vaccine mandate. The mandate required all employees to be vaccinated by December 1 or face termination. The four plaintiffs claim that the mandate violates state law and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

“Persons who have refused COVID-19 vaccination on religious and medical grounds have been coming under increasing pressure to get vaccinated. Both the Biden administration and private employers have been using a variety of tools to achieve their arbitrary vaccination requirements, despite the objections of those who are not vaccinated,” the lawsuit states. “Arrayed against this ever encroaching tsunami of vaccination mandates are equally varied forces, including the Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, who, through his executive orders, has sought to provide a safe harbor, where individual rights are protected.”

Governor Abbott issued Executive Order GA-40 in October, which, according to the lawsuit, states, “‘No entity in Texas can compel receipt of a COVID-19 vaccine by any individual, including an employee or consumer, who objects to such vaccination for any reason of personal conscience, based on a religious belief, or for medical reasons, including prior recovery from COVID-19.’” The plaintiffs argue that CARIS’ vaccine mandate is in direct violation of this order. 

In addition, each plaintiff submitted religious or medical vaccine exemption requests and had their requests denied. The lawsuit argues this is unlawful under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, and plaintiffs have filed complaints of discrimination with the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission. Investigations are ongoing. 

The plaintiffs are seeking costs and attorney’s fees, declaratory relief and an injunction against CARIS enjoying it from enforcing its vaccine mandate. They are represented by Vethan Law Firm PC