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Utah sues over Biden vaccine mandate for health care workers

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Posted at 6:06 PM, Nov 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-15 20:17:40-05

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah joined 10 other states and sued over the Biden administration's vaccine mandate for health care workers in facilities that accept Medicare and Medicaid funding.

WATCH: New Utah grant to reimburse employees taking time off for COVID-19 vaccine

Louisiana, Montana, Arizona, Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, and West Virginia filed the lawsuit in a federal court in Louisiana late Monday.
"The Biden Administration is playing statutory shell games with the courts, straining to justify an unjustifiable and unprecedented attempt to federalize public health policy and diminish the sovereign States’ constitutional powers," the lawsuit said.

This latest litigation jumps off another lawsuit Utah is involved in, challenging the Biden administration's occupational safety rule mandating the vaccine or regular COVID-19 testing on businesses with more than 100 employees. In that lawsuit, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals granted the states' request for a stay, halting that rule from going into effect.

READ: Staggering 4,502 new COVID cases in Utah over weekend; 26 new deaths

Utah and the other states are now seeking to block the vaccine requirement from applying to healthcare workers.

"By forcing employees to choose between their job(s) and their jab(s),' the Mandate completely ignores the unprecedented labor shortage prevailing in the healthcare sector and patient wellbeing in favor of the President’s ambition to increase societal vaccination rates," the lawsuit said.

Since the federal requirement for health care workers was announced, some of Utah's largest health systems have started to impose the vaccine requirement, including Intermountain Healthcare and University of Utah Health.

Read the lawsuit here: