People who refuse to get vaccinated start losing jobs as cities and businesses get tougher on vaccines – CBS Denver
DENVER (CBS4) – “I will not let them violate my constitutional rights and force me to be trapped with a needle with their vaccines,” said Denver cop Dave Curtis. Curtis says he will retire early, rather than receive the COVID vaccine before Thursday’s deadline for city employees.
He was part of a lawsuit filed by seven officers asking a judge to force the city to desist from requiring vaccination. The judge dismissed it early Wednesday, saying they should have directed their objections to the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment first.
“What the court finally said was, ‘Hey, I don’t have jurisdiction here’ and that’s why it was dismissed,” said lawyer and legal analyst Raj Chohan.
Denver’s movement as well as that of a growing number of communities and businesses survive almost any legal challenge.
“In an emergency, the courts say no, state governments, local governments, are free to adopt these kinds of mandates as long as there is some kind of reasonable accommodation for people who cannot or don’t want to do it, ”Chohan says.
Courts at lower levels often face procedural problems. But when cases come to the federal system, they often refer to a case that is over 100 years old when considering constitutional rights.
“1905, Jacobson v. Massachusetts, ”Chohan said. “This was a case where a person did not want to be vaccinated against smallpox because they were worried about the side effects of the vaccine. And you’ve seen a lot of the same arguments here today.
But the Supreme Court set a precedent by ruling against Henning Jacobson by 7-2 and reaffirmed it later in 1922, in Zucht v. King, ruling that a school district could refuse admission to a student who had not received the required vaccination.
One of the region’s largest private employers, United Airlines is among the companies toughening up the vaccination. United say 99% of its workforce who have not requested exemptions are now vaccinated. At midnight Monday this week, the airline asked its employees to upload a copy of their vaccination certificates.
“Our flight attendants are a microcosm of the people of the United States,” said Ken Kyle, local board chairman of the Association of Flight Attendants, a group of about 1,900 flight attendants based in Denver and Phoenix.
“We have very, very pro-vaccination flight attendants and we have very anti-vaccination flight attendants. The airline already flies to some destinations where vaccines are mandatory, such as in Africa. Flights to Canada must now be operated by people vaccinated against COVID-19.
United has made reasonable accommodations for people with religious or medical reasons, Kyle says.
“The company, as it is, seems to be allowed to move forward with setting its deadline… and move forward.”
United CEO Scott Kirby said the company will now begin the process of firing around 590 people nationwide who had not uploaded their vaccination cards and requested exemptions.
Officer Dave Curtis says he will lose about $ 600,000 in compensation over the next few years for his early retirement, but will not have the chance to continue his work as a DIA police officer.
“I am not against the vaccine, I am against them taking the decision away from me,” he said.
With the Pfizer vaccine now approved for regular use and the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine estimated not far behind, the pressure will likely increase.
“What we’re seeing is an FDA that’s going to approve all vaccines at some point for regular use. And that’s really going to take away the idea that these are experimental and that they’re not sure, ”Chohan said. And the principle of protecting the health of the general public becomes clearer, he believes, when considering an even more serious pandemic, or a variant of COVID-19.
“What if a very, very serious, fatal disease that has a shorter incubation period lands in the United States and we have a generalized pandemic in which immediate action is needed and we have, say . a vaccine to deal with it?