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Judge orders health care workers suing over vaccine mandates to identify themselves

A federal judge issued the order Tuesday, and gave them until the end of the week.

A group of 188 anonymous Minnesota health care workers suing to block their employers' COVID vaccine mandates will have to identify themselves to the organizations they are suing.

Federal Judge Nancy Brasel, following a Tuesday hearing that lasted 2 hours and 40 minutes, ordered the health care workers' attorneys to "provide a list of the identities of the plaintiffs named in the complaint to the defendants" by Friday, Oct. 15, according to court records.

Brasel also denied the health care workers' request for a temporary injunction that would have, for the time-being, prevented the health care systems in question from enforcing their vaccine mandates.

Health care and hospital systems around the state began rolling out new policies last month, in which employees who refuse to get vaccinated against COVID face firing. These new policies were introduced shortly after President Joe Biden's administration laid out new rules regarding vaccines or COVID testing for businesses, including a requirement that health care facilities that receive Medicaid or Medicare reimbursement mandate vaccines for employees.

The health care workers filed the federal lawsuit on Sept. 27, arguing the COVID vaccine mandates enacted by the defendants create a "substantial burden" on their religious rights, and violate their rights under state and federal law, making the mandates unconstitutional.

The lawsuit lists 20 Minnesota health care systems as defendants, as well as a few federal agencies and department leaders that instituted rules the health care workers say enable such mandates. Here is the list of defendants:

  • Affiliated Community Medical Centers, Ltd.
  • Allina Health System
  • Carris Health - Redwood, LLC
  • Center for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Centers For Medicare & Medicaid Services
  • CentraCare Health System
  • Children's Health Care
  • Essentia Health
  • Fairview Health Services
  • Fairview Physician Associates Network
  • Gillette Childrens Specialty Health Care
  • Group Health Plan, Inc.
  • Lakeview Memorial Hospital Association, Inc.
  • Mayo Clinic
  • Minneapolis Radiation Oncology, P.A.
  • North Memorial Health Care
  • Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital
  • Regions Hospital
  • Rochelle P Walensky
  • SMDC Medical Center
  • St. Luke's Hospital of Duluth
  • St. Mary's Duluth Clinic Health System
  • United States Department of Health and Human Services
  • University of Minnesota Physicians
  • Xavier Becerra

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