UVA prof. says lawsuits unlikely following removal of COVID-19 vaccine mandates

Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 4:52 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The vaccine mandate in Virginia versus the rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court can be a little confusing.

“I actually would say the vaccine mandate has not been lifted,” law professor Margaret Riley said.

Riley teaches law at the University of Virginia. She says you have to look at both of the Supreme Court rulings from last last week.

“First is on health care workers, and that one stands. The Supreme Court upheld the government’s right to impose a vaccine mandate on health care workers,” Riley said. “Whether employers, and large employers - employers who employ more than 100 workers - could the government require employers to impose a mandate?”

A majority of justices ruled that the government could not require mandates, but employers can. That’s why Riley doesn’t expect to see many lawsuits from people who received their vaccine to keep their job.

Even in Virginia with Governor Glenn Youngkin removing the state employee vaccine mandate.

“You’d have to prove that you’re actually damaged by that. And in some instances, you will have very hard doing so, in fact, you probably would have had benefits rather than damages,” Riley said.

Moving forward, Riley thinks more businesses will create vaccine requirements: “Employers will continue to impose mandates, because mandates work,” she said.

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