Washington Gov. Jay Inslee sued by dozens of state employees over vaccine mandate religious provision

Dozens of State Patrol troopers, firefighters and different state workers have filed a lawsuit towards Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, for his COVID-19 vaccine mandate, alleging he’s overstepping his authority and violating state regulation.

The lawsuit, filed Friday by Seattle lawyer Nathan Arnold in Walla Walla County Superior Courtroom, lays out seven causes of motion towards Inslee and pays explicit consideration to the character of the state’s non secular exemptions, which plaintiffs allege represent a deprivation of spiritual freedom below the state Structure.

In August, Inslee ordered all state workers to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine by Oct. 18 or face being fired. Washington state’s vaccine mandate is likely one of the strictest within the nation.


Among the many greater than 90 particular person plaintiffs, greater than 53 are State Patrol workers, some are Division of Corrections workers, and a number of other others work for the fireplace division or state ferry system.

“Some Plaintiffs have, for granted by statute and a proper secured by the Washington Structure, sought a spiritual exemption from the Governor’s Mandate,” the lawsuit says partially. “As a situation of contemplating the Plaintiffs’ non secular exemptions, the state or its businesses have required the submission of a ‘non secular questionnaire’ which improperly inquired into protected personal affairs concerning well being care choices and spiritual sentiment, perception, and worship.”

The lawsuit included screenshots of emails wherein Inslee’s Normal Counsel Kathryn Leathers mentioned exemption language with the state lawyer basic’s workplace. The grievance singled out what Leathers wrote in an Aug. 3, 2021 e mail: “Exemptions: medical for positive; and spiritual (if we have now to; if sure, as slender as attainable).”

The lawsuit went on to allege that a number of the plaintiffs who submitted the non secular exemption questionnaire requested “have had their non secular sincerity questioned and have been pressured to offer further data.”


“The Plaintiffs every face deprivation of their life, liberty, or property as a direct consequence of each the State’s inquiries on the non secular questionnaire which isn’t per due course of, and the Governor’s Mandate which was not correctly or legally enacted, and which isn’t per due course of,” the lawsuit states.

“These necessities are in full compliance with the regulation. We sit up for responding in court docket,” a spokesperson for Inslee wrote in an e mail, in keeping with The Seattle Times. | Washington Gov. Jay Inslee sued by dozens of state workers over vaccine mandate non secular provision


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