First mandatory vaccination case filed in New Mexico: report

A New Mexico detention center officer has filed a lawsuit over a workplace requirement to receive the coronavirus vaccine, the first lawsuit against mandatory COVID-19 vaccination in the United States

Detention center officer Isaac Legaretta sued a county executive and his supervisor on Sunday, Bloomberg Law reported. The officer’s attorney, Ana Garner, said he was told he would be fired for refusing the inoculation.

The complaint alleges that the county manager and supervisor violated his rights by making the vaccine a condition of employment for first responders unless a reasonable accommodation was approved.

“You can’t be forced to be a human guinea pig when a product is experimental,” Garner, an attorney for the nonprofit New Mexico Stands Up!, told Bloomberg. “We have the right to bodily integrity.”

The county attorney disputed the allegations and argued that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) said employers can mandate vaccinations.

The attorney also argues that Legaretta did not claim to have a qualifying condition preventing him from getting vaccinated.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 would allow employee vaccination exemptions for certain health and religious reasons.

The EEOC in March 2020 stated that an employer covered by the ADA and Title VII cannot require all of its employees to be vaccinated. Otherwise, employers are probably on a solid legal basis to mandate vaccinations.

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