The plaintiffs are asking the section tribunal for a declaratory judgment, a impermanent restraining order, and a imperishable injunction to artifact the vaccine mandate imposed by Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS).
The plaintiffs are among an estimated 220 unit members who stay unvaccinated. SRNS employs 5,500 people. More than 96 percent of the workforce were vaccinated against the CCP microorganism arsenic of Oct. 21, a institution spokeswoman told The Epoch Times.
Retired Marine Colonel Jim Harmon, a erstwhile employee, said: “It smacks of fascism erstwhile firm America is doing the bidding of the authorities successful forcing a vaccine mandate connected employees by proxy.”
Harmon, a decorated seasoned of three-and-a-half deployments successful Iraq and Afghanistan, mislaid his information section occupation connected Oct. 14 for refusing to instrumentality the shot. He said to bash truthful would interruption the tenets of his religion.
Religious Exemptions Denied
In an Oct. 12 memo to employees, SRNS President Stuart MacVean announced the institution had “processed” a ample fig of requests for spiritual exemptions and “after cautious information denied each requests for accommodation.”
MacVean called accommodations, specified arsenic play testing, “an undue load connected our company,” citing the ample fig of requests for spiritual exemptions arsenic a origin successful the action.
“They didn’t adjacent springiness america the enactment to get tested astatine the section drugstore astatine our ain expense,” said Harmon.
“This truly bothers me, particularly aft the institution said it would see aesculapian and spiritual requests for exemptions connected an idiosyncratic basis.
Harmon said his petition for spiritual exemption was genuine, and that helium wasn’t trying to usage it to get retired of getting the vaccine.
He said helium provided documentation from his religion supporting his application.
“Actions taken by SRNS to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for each employees were done solely to support the wellness and information of the workforce,” SRNS spokeswoman Barbara Smoak told The Epoch Times.
“It is SRNS’ sincere tendency that those who are unvaccinated volition determine to person the vaccine by the Nov. 30 deadline for afloat vaccination and stay employed by SRNS.”
“That determination is not similar choosing betwixt an Egg McMuffin and a cheeseburger. It’s a determination of large consequence,” said Donald Brown, the lawyer for the terminated employees.
“This lawsuit is astir authorities instrumentality and freedom. It’s astir the unauthorized signifier of medicine by a medically unqualified leader who has nary cognition of the aesculapian condition, oregon past of idiosyncratic employees, and yet is forcing a perchance harmful medicine connected them arsenic a information of employment.”
Protect Health and Safety
Harmon believes that SRNS mislaid astatine slightest a mates of 100 employees owed to the vaccine mandate.
He told The Epoch Times helium believes the security, safety, and operations astatine the atomic processing, refining, and retention installation volition endure arsenic a result.
“These workers are not communal time laborers. They see atomic engineers, scientists, tech security, and programme managers. Some with 30 years experience. People with their qualifications are not easy replaced.
“But it’s a treble problem. Even if absorption finds arsenic qualified replacements, they indispensable have, oregon get, information clearances. That tin instrumentality a year.”
According to Harmon, galore of his coworkers are “scared to accidental anything.”
SRNS did not respond to a question astir the imaginable interaction of unit reductions connected the information and information of the firm’s operations.
The employees’ suit besides contends that idiosyncratic prime successful aesculapian matters, adjacent successful times of emergency, and specifically including vaccinations, is simply a well-established rule successful South Carolina law.
A pistillate SRNS worker stated successful an affidavit, notarized connected Oct. 19, that she was fixed nary specified choice.
“I was forced to get the vaccine, oregon beryllium terminated by the company.
“The mandate near maine nary prime but to bash truthful retired of fearfulness of losing my job. I reluctantly obtained the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.”
Following her single-shot vaccination, the pistillate said she experienced a terrible reaction, including tegument pain, driblet successful humor pressure, dizziness and weakness.
“It was a precise scary acquisition that I ne'er would person gone done had determination not been a vaccine mandate,” she said.
Harmon said the SRNS out-processing procedures connected Oct. 14 were “heavy-handed and utterly insulting”, with betwixt 20 and 30 heavy equipped members of the company’s protective unit stationed some successful and astir the Human Resources room, arsenic if they were “anticipating a riot.”
“Some had M-4 work rifles. The lone happening missing from being afloat outfitted to spell to warfare was a helmet. Normally, successful places similar an HR area, they would beryllium wearing their polo-shirts and sidearms.”
Treated Like a Spy
Harmon said each the idiosyncratic items helium was carrying, but his car keys, were taken from him, including his compartment phone.
He was amazed that nary comfortableness features, similar chairs, were provided to let employees to beryllium portion doing the paperwork.
“I deliberation the full happening was a deliberate amusement of unit designed to intimidate and corral employees into submission,” Harmon said. “One time I was a valued and trusted worker with a apical information clearance. The adjacent time I was treated similar a spy, oregon saboteur, oregon terrorist. All due to the fact that I won’t instrumentality the shot”
Smoak said SRNS information unit were wearing their mundane uniforms, which are due for each tract entrances.
“Measures that were enactment successful spot were to assistance with directing the employees to the determination and to guarantee their safety.”
Brown said helium was hoping for a “speedy resolution,” but said attorneys for SRNS filed for a announcement of removal successful bid to bump the lawsuit up to the Federal District Court of South Carolina astatine Columbia.
Steven Kovac is an Epoch Times newsman who covers the authorities of Michigan. He is simply a erstwhile tiny businessman, section elected official, and blimpish governmental activist. He is an ordained curate of the Gospel. Steven and his woman of 32 years person 2 grown daughters. He tin beryllium reached astatine [email protected]