A New Mexico detention center officer is reportedly suing a county manager and his supervisors over a workplace requirement for first responders to be inoculated with the COVID-19 vaccine.
Isaac Legaretta sued a county manager and his supervisor on Sunday, Bloomberg Law reported. The officer’s lawyer said he wasn’t told about the vaccine’s known benefits and risks, or that he had the opportunity to refuse.
The complaint claims the county manager and supervisor violated his rights by making the vaccine a condition of employment for first responders unless reasonable accommodation has been approved, the news outlet reported.
“You can’t be forced to be a human guinea pig when a product is experimental,” N. Ana Garner, a lawyer for Legaretta, who filed his complaint in U.S. District Court District of New Mexico on Sunday, told Bloomberg Law.
“We have the right to bodily integrity," she said.
The county attorney has disputed the allegations, arguing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission say employers can mandate vaccinations, however.
The attorney also argues Legaretta hasn’t claimed to have a qualifying condition preventing him from getting the vaccination.
The American Disabilities Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 would allow for employee vaccination exemptions under certain health and religious reasons, The Hill noted.
The EEOC in March 2020 said an employer covered by both can’t force all of its employees to take a vaccine, The Hill has previously reported.
But legal experts say employers may be on firm legal ground to mandate vaccinations.
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