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Judges Limit Unpaid Leave for Unvaccinated Workers in U.S. Labs | Nationwide

Nashville, Tennessee (AP) — A federal judge has currently limited the ability of a nonprofit organization operating Oak Ridge National Laboratory to put employees exempt from the COVID-19 vaccine requirement on unpaid leave. ..

Judge Charles Atchley of the U.S. District Court in Knoxville said on Friday that UT-Battelle would put an employee on indefinite unpaid leave or dismiss after receiving religious or medical accommodation for the vaccine. I issued a temporary restraint order to forbid.

The six workers who complained alleged that unpaid leave was said to be indefinite. Their employer said in court filings that the vacation would last for 60 days, the health benefits would remain the same, and then reassessed. Those who have security clearances will keep them for 90 days, Filing said.

The judge wrote that he would decide by October 29 whether the order would expire or be retained while the case was in progress. He inferred that “preventing their (employee’s) placement of two weeks of unpaid leave simply does not harm the organization,” but unpaid leave tells lab workers “functional unemployment.” It causes other damage, about 25 miles west of Knoxville.

The judge should not interpret the order as he tends to block the order forever, instead place it to avoid the “risk of irreparable harm” until a full hearing is held. I wrote that it was done.

Earlier this month, employees filed a proceeding for a religious exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine, two of which also demanded a medical exemption. The proceedings also seek the status of a class action, alleging that the unpaid leave policy violates civil rights and protection against discrimination against persons with disabilities.

The proceedings state that workers were not offered alternatives such as working remotely or regular testing. Currently, all employees face mask obligations in the lab.

A laboratory belonging to the U.S. Department of Energy requested that those looking for accommodation for religious or medical reasons submit by September 15 on August 26, and all staff by October 15. Announced that it needs to be vaccinated. ..

At UT-Battelle, 145 employees requested accommodation for religious beliefs and talked directly with workers in 24 cases. UT-Battelle received 75 medical exemption requests, allowing 47 of them, rejecting 25, and submitting three pending states.

According to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory website, the facility has 5,700 staff.

The organization stopped the interview after employees on the interview list tested positive for COVID-19 on each of the two days. This includes one employee who was interviewed before receiving the test results and “may expose panel members to the virus,” writes UT-Battelle. ..

Nonprofits also said, “Experiences in late summer and early autumn show that testing does not adequately reduce the risk of onsite transmission,” and during the pandemic, employees working from home “actually.” It wasn’t as effective as work. ” As a federal contractor, he said it meets the vaccination requirements implemented through President Joe Biden’s enforcement order.

“The risks posed by unvaccinated staff were illustrated by employees who were positive on the day they were interviewed about their religious accommodation requirements,” writes UT-Battelle.

Copyright 2021 AP communication. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.



Judges Limit Unpaid Leave for Unvaccinated Workers in U.S. Labs | Nationwide

Source link Judges Limit Unpaid Leave for Unvaccinated Workers in U.S. Labs | Nationwide

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