Sep 4, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Police, firefighters sue Oregon governor over COVID-19 vaccine mandate

Kate Brown, governor of Oregon, speaks during an interview in Portland, Oregon, U.S. on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016

Photo: Meg Roussos/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Police officers and firefighters are suing Gov. Kate Brown over Oregon's vaccine mandate for state workers.

The big picture: The Oregon Fraternal Order of Police along with troopers from around the state and firefighters are asking a judge to declare the Democratic governor's executive order “unenforceable," according to the complaint.

  • The groups allege the executive order conflicts with existing Oregon statutes and could result in the wrongful termination of employees, per AP.
  • In August, Brown reinstated an indoor mask mandate amid a surge of COVID-19 cases and required all state employees to be fully vaccinated before Oct. 18.

What they're saying: Brown press secretary Liz Merah said in a statement that the governor is responding to a public health crisis.

  • “Given the seriousness of the situation, employer vaccine requirements have become an important tool, and state government plays a part," said Merah, per AP. "It’s critical to protect state workers, workplaces and facilities, as well as members of the public who use state services.”
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