A group of more than 500 Los Angeles Fire Department employees filed a lawsuit Friday against the city, alleging that the city’s COVID vaccine requirements violate their constitutional rights, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a nonprofit known as the Firefighters 4 Freedom Foundation, an organization that launched last month to “stop the mandated vaccinations for all City employees as well as the citizens of this great country,” according to their website. The organization is representing 529 LAFD employees in the lawsuit, which was filed in L.A. County Superior Court on Friday, according to the Times.
Referencing Los Angeles City Council’s August vote to require city employees to be fully vaccinated by early October (with exceptions for , the lawsuit states that the firefighters are “pawns in a political chess match, ordered by thirteen politicians on the Los Angeles City Council to inject themselves with an experimental vaccine—over their objections—or lose their jobs.”
According to a copy of the lawsuit that was handed over to KTLA, the firefighters want to stop the the ordinance—which was unanimously approved by City Council—from going into effect “until a preliminary injunction hearing in this matter and further order of this Court.”
The LAFD lawsuit comes one week after six Los Angeles Police Department staffers filed a suit against the city over COVID vaccine requirements.
Kevin McBride, the attorney representing the firefighters, told the Times that his clients are seeking a “middle ground” with the city, but didn’t elaborate.
“They’re sensitive to the public,” McBride said of the firefighters. “No one wants to spread COVID-19.”
Meanwhile, City Attorney and mayoral candidate Mike Feuer said he’s confident that the city will win the legal battle.
“The U.S. Supreme Court and courts across the country have upheld vaccination mandates by government and they’ve done so because they said the greater good compels it,” Feuer told the Times. “The greater good compels this right now.”
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