The Washington-based Federal Practice Group filed the complaint against President Joe Biden and top agency officials in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Oct. 19 on behalf of dozens of federal workers and submitted an amended version on Oct. 20.
The Department of Homeland Security has 20 agents listed in the lawsuit, more than any federal department or independent agency. All federal workers face a Nov. 22 deadline to be fully immunized, which is deemed complete two weeks after the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson shot.
"In rushing to force COVID-19 vaccinations on the federal workforce, the President's edicts violate long-standing statutory prohibitions against inoculations with unlicensed vaccines, as well as the individual rights of government employees and contractors under the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act," the complaint states. "Accordingly, plaintiffs who are representative of nearly every Federal Agency respectfully request relief from this Court in the form of injunctive relief stopping this illegal and unnecessarily broad and wide-ranging program."
Feds for Medical Freedom, a faction preparing federal workers, asked the court to obstruct Biden's policy from taking effect next month.
"On the basis that the mandates, as written and being implemented, are unlawful, federal employees are asking the judicial system to issue an order that prevents the mass firings of dedicated public servants," Feds for Medical Freedom wrote on its website.
The lawsuit states that the Biden administration infringed federal workers' rights on three levels.
First, it says that Biden's early September executive order, that employees get full doses of the vaccine or face dismissal, do not allow for a case-by-case review and employer accommodations. Moreover, it allows the government itself to illegally investigate each person's medical history.
Second, the complaint states that firing employees on a perceived disability is illegal.
"Communicable diseases are considered disabilities. Through the issuance of these mandates, it is presumed that an unvaccinated individual at some point will contract COVID-19, a communicable disease," the complaint states.
It also cites the natural immunity that unvaccinated federal employees may have gotten through infection.
"The internet is replete with multiple studies confirming the lasting immunity to COVID-19 experienced by individuals who have previously contracted COVID-19. One notable one is from the Cleveland Clinic, which found that individuals previously infected with COVID-19 did not suffer reinfection and that ultimately, Individuals who have had SARS-CoV-2 infection are unlikely to benefit from COVID-19 vaccination," the complaint states.