The Los Alamos National Laboratory’s vaccine mandate is set to take effect on Friday as dozens of workers sue over the order.
Workers at the New Mexico laboratory, which created the atomic bomb, filed a lawsuit claiming that exemptions to the mandate have been denied without proper justification, The Associated Press reported.
A hearing was underway on Thursday as a state district judge will decide whether or not to grant an injunction to prevent employees from being fired while the workers’ case is ongoing, according to the AP.
The workers alleged that management from Triad National Security LLC, which runs the lab for the U.S. Department of Energy, violated their constitutional rights by imposing the mandate and created a hostile workplace, the AP added. One anecdote from the case said that a worker was yelled at for being unvaccinated and told by a crew member that his family deserved to die.
Employees estimate the lab could lose up to 10 percent of its staff because of the mandate. Many of the plaintiffs in the case are specialists with high-level security clearances and expertise that would complicate finding new workers to replace them quickly, the AP reported.
The lab employs nearly 14,000 people and is one of the largest employers in the state, the wire service added.
The AP also noted that the lab has not provided information about the current vaccination rate of employees.
The Hill has reached out to Triad National Security LLC and to the workers’ attorney for comment.
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