Dozens of workers sue Henry Ford, say vaccine mandate violates Constitution

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About 50 employees are suing Henry Ford Health System alleging the Detroit-based organization's COVID-19 vaccine mandate is unconstitutional, according to court documents.

The employees filed the lawsuit in Detroit federal court Sept. 6 saying Henry Ford's requirement that they receive shots as a condition of employment "is both unconstitutional and has caused money damages to plaintiffs."

The employees, represented by VonAllmen & Associates and Renz Law, also contend the mandate subjects them to "a significant likelihood of bodily harm" and forces them to "choose between exposing themselves to potential harm or death or abandon their careers in healthcare." 

More specifically, they cited statistics from unverified reports at the CDC's Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, which they claim show that as of Aug. 20, 13,627 deaths have occurred nationwide after receiving COVID-19 shots, and 17,794 have experienced permanent disabilities. 

The CDC, on its website, says people who get the vaccines are extremely unlikely to experience serious side effects that could cause a long-term health problem. Additionally, according to the CDC's Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, vaccine providers are encouraged to report clinically significant health problems following vaccination, regardless of whether they believe the vaccine was the cause, and "the number of reports alone cannot be interpreted or used to reach conclusions about the existence, severity, frequency or rates of problems associated with vaccines."

Henry Ford, which employs more than 33,000 people, announced June 29 that it will require workers to be vaccinated as a condition of employment. The requirement takes effect Sept. 10 and applies to team members, students, volunteers and contractors. According to the lawsuit, employees who are not compliant will be suspended, and given until Oct. 1 to comply.

In a statement shared with Becker's, Henry Ford said, "We remain confident that vaccination is the most powerful tool we all have against the COVID-19 pandemic. Beyond that, we cannot comment on pending litigation."

The workers named in the lawsuit seek a declaration that the mandate is unconstitutional and an order blocking the health system from enforcing the mandate.  

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