Court: Health care workers in lawsuit must reveal identities

July 10, 2022 GMT

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Nine health care workers who sued Democratic Maine Gov. Janet Mills over the state’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate have until Money to reveal their identities.

The workers have so far remained anonymous, but on Thursday, a federal appeals court in Boston rejected a motion by the workers and gave them until Friday to file an amended complaint with their names, the Portland Press-Herald reported.

The plaintiffs were later given an extension until Monday.

Attorneys for Liberty Counsel, a law firm representing the health care workers, said in a court filing Friday that the one-day extension is needed to give lawyers time to speak with each plaintiff about whether they want to move forward with the lawsuit.

The plaintiffs filed their complaint in federal court last August, before the state’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health care workers at Maine care facilities went into effect on Oct. 20, 2021.

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In the complaint the workers argued that it was their religious right to refuse the vaccine over their belief that fetal stem cells from abortions are used to develop the vaccines.

Maine’s vaccine mandate does not allow for religious exemptions.

The lawsuit prompted several Maine newspapers, including the Portland Press Herald, to intervene in an effort to force the plaintiffs to be identified.