The NFFE union has said it has considered filing a lawsuit seeking to block the administration’s vaccine mandate for federal employees but concluded that such a suit would fail—and instead is concentrating on the details of the policy’s implementation.
“More than 100 years of legal precedent exists confirming the authority of employer-required mandates and vaccines, and the courts at all levels have consistently rejected challenges to this type of mandate. Therefore, NFFE has determined it will not legally challenge the Executive Order requiring federal employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19,” it said in an online posting.
Most recently, the U.S. Supreme Court left in place—by declining to review it—an appeals court decision backing a vaccine mandate in a university setting, a potential precedent in the employment setting since both involve decisions about the safety of large numbers of people.
The statement added that while the union “everyone who is able to get the vaccination” it “understands and respects the differing perspectives of its individual members on matters regarding vaccines, mask mandates, and social distancing. NFFE believes no employee should be fired in connection with this mandate.”
It said its focus is on matters including (in its words): privacy of employees’ medical information; options for available vaccines (which manufacturer[s] will be available); agencies providing on-site vaccination at workplaces; administrative time to get vaccinated and to recover from any potential side effects; exemptions for religious/medical reasons; verification process for employees to show proof of vaccination; mask mandates after full vaccination; due process protections and consistency of penalties in disciplinary actions.