355 additional city workers file lawsuits seeking exemptions to vaccine mandate

(Hawaii News Now)
Published: Oct. 15, 2021 at 8:23 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Although the first hearing for city workers challenging Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s vaccine mandate ran into trouble in court, an additional 355 workers have signed on to lawsuits.

The mayor had ordered all city workers to get vaccinated unless they get a religious or medical exemption.

Ten first responders sued the city to demand testing as an alternative. However, at Friday’s court hearing, the city said all ten were approved for religious exemptions.

Judge Derrick Watson said that because the city workers were granted vaccine exemptions, the case was ended.

“I think we’ve made progress in getting a turnaround from the governor and the mayors. And that’s all people want, is a choice even though we got beat up a little bit today,” said Attorney Michael Green, who is representing city workers against the mandate.

“We’ll go forward and we will try to protect everyone else who is being told either take the injection or these are the consequences.”

Green said if the city intends to accept every religious exemption request, the case will be over.

Meanwhile, the city said it is confident the mandate will survive the challenges.

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