Vaccine Mandate Challenge Filed Against Washington Gov. Jay Inslee

On Tuesday a case was filed in the Western District of Washington by a set of plaintiffs employed by Washington state agencies against Governor Jay Inslee regarding a state mandate for all Washington state employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 18, or face employment related penalties or sanctions, including possible termination.

The Washington governor’s Proclamation 20-05 et seq. 21-14 and Amended Proclamation 20-14 21-14.1 both require the vaccination of state employees; the plaintiffs claim that the enforcement of these proclamations exceeds the authority of the Governor’s office as granted by the Constitution of the State of Washington, as well as violating the United States Constitution and other applicable federal law regarding the rights of citizens.

Specifically, the plaintiffs claim that the proclamations as written and as enforced due not grant the right for exceptions for medical issues or for religious beliefs and that the proclamations as they have been enforced show an intent to discriminate against employees who try to make these objections.

The plaintiffs include claims that several of the plaintiffs have already been injured due to partial compliance with the mandate, and allege immediate financial and physical harm to the plaintiffs stemming from the enforcement of the mandate. The plaintiffs also cite as part of their justification for seeking federal intervention regarding a state proclamation the number of cases that are currently pending in state court regarding this particular proclamation.

Plaintiffs are suing claiming a due process violation regarding the Governor’s ability to issue the mandate, claiming a violation of free exercise of religion, violations of the ADA, violations of the Civil rights act, breach of the plaintiffs employment contracts, and violations of privacy and informed consent. Plaintiffs are represented by Arnold & Jacobowitz, PLLC