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Judge Blocks Medical Worker Vaccine Mandate in NY State

The Associated Press reported:

A federal judge temporarily blocked the state of New York on Tuesday from forcing medical workers to be vaccinated after a group of healthcare workers sued, saying their Constitutional rights were violated because the state’s mandate disallowed religious exemptions.

Judge David Hurd in Utica issued the order after 17 health professionals, including doctors and nurses, claimed in a lawsuit Monday that their rights were violated with a vaccine mandate that disallowed the exemptions.

The judge gave New York state until Sept. 22 to respond to the lawsuit in federal court in Utica.

The state issued the order Aug. 28, requiring at least a first shot for health care workers at hospitals and nursing homes by Sept. 27.

Schools Will Need Vaccine Mandates for In-Person Classes to Last, Expert Says

CNN reported:

As COVID-19 cases surge among children, vaccine mandates in schools might become the only way to keep kids learning safely in classrooms, a pediatrician said.

“So far, we’ve not seen a lot of COVID vaccine mandates, even for the teenagers,” said pediatrician and vaccinologist Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.

“It’s gonna have to happen if we’re going to get kids through the school year.”

Federal Appeals Court Denies IU Request to Dismiss COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate Lawsuit

WTHR 13 reported:

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals denied Indiana University’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit over its COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

IU argued that, since school has already begun and the students challenging its mandate had received exemptions or withdrawn from IU, they no longer had standing to bring the case.

“Today’s ruling allows this fight to continue for the Students and that they will have their constitutional claims decided on the merits” said James Bopp, Jr., of The Bopp Law Firm.

Bopp said the two students IU claimed withdrew from the university only deferred their attendance, pending the final outcome of the lawsuit.

Amazon Brings Palm-Swiping Tech to Red Rocks Concert Venue

The Associated Press reported:

Amazon says it is bringing its palm-recognition technology to the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Denver and it will be available at other venues in the coming months. It’s the first time the technology, called Amazon One, will be used outside some of Amazon’s stores, where shoppers can pay for groceries and snacks by swiping their palms.

Starting Tuesday, concertgoers at Red Rocks can sign up to connect their palm to a ticketing account by hovering their hand over a device. They only need to sign up once and then can use their palm to get into other shows and events at the venue. An Amazon account is not needed to use it.

Amazon signed a deal with entertainment company AEG to bring the technology to Red Rocks, which sells tickets on AEG’s ticketing site, AXS.

LAPD Employees File Federal Lawsuit, Challenging City’s COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

CBS Los Angeles reported:

A group of LAPD employees have filed a federal lawsuit, challenging the city’s COVID vaccine mandate.

“We are asking for two main things,” said Kevin Snider, chief council at the Pacific Justice Institute. “That those who had the coronavirus and have natural immunities be exempted from this ridiculous rule, and second is that people who have faith convictions against taking a vaccination need to have a meaningful process of more than 72 hours to submit their request for religious accommodations.”

The lawsuit was filed over the weekend in federal court by six Los Angeles Police Department workers, according to the Los Angeles Times. It claims that the mandate violates their constitutional rights to privacy and due process.

GOP Condemnation of Biden Coronavirus Mandate Fuels Concern Other Vaccine Requirements Could Be Targeted

The Washington Post reported:

Republicans’ sweeping denunciations of President Biden’s plan to force more people to get vaccinated against the coronavirus are raising concerns among public health experts that this heated criticism could help fuel a broader rejection of other vaccine requirements, including those put in place by schools and the military, as the issue of inoculations becomes increasingly political.

Over the weekend, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) declared on Twitter that there should be “NO VACCINE MANDATES.”

More than a dozen other prominent Republicans in Congress and in the states have made similarly defiant statements in recent days, often using inflammatory rhetoric. In South Carolina, Gov. Henry McMaster pledged to fight Biden and Democrats “to the gates of hell” on coronavirus vaccine mandates, while Rep. Elise Stefanik (N.Y.) condemned Biden’s recent mandate as “authoritarian” and the work of “a power hungry government.”

MTA Yanks $500K COVID Death Benefit From Unvaccinated Transit Workers

The City reported:

Struggling to get its workforce vaccinated, the MTA has pulled a $500,000 death benefit for any unvaccinated employees who succumb to COVID, THE CITY has learned.

The MTA this week will extend through the end of the year the lump-sum payment and three years of health insurance to the survivors of vaccinated workers who die from the virus, a senior official said.

But workers who opt out of getting their shots could relinquish the rights of their loved ones to secure the benefit should they die — unless they had a “valid documented exception” to vaccination, according to a notice sent to employees by Paul Fama, the MTA’s chief people officer.

Privacy Advocate Will Be New Big Tech Threat at FTC

Axios reported:

The Biden administration sent another warning to Big Tech on Monday in nominating longtime privacy advocate Alvaro Bedoya to the Federal Trade Commission.

Why it matters: Bedoya’s expertise on data collection and surveillance, combined with Biden’s pick to lead the FTC, tech antitrust legal scholar Lina Khan, signals aggressive action from both the consumer protection and antitrust arms of the agency.

Facebook Office Cleaner Who Led Protests at London Site Fears for His Job

The Guardian reported:

Facebook’s facilities management firm has demanded the removal of a union activist leading a campaign against “impossible workloads” imposed on exhausted cleaners at the US tech giant’s London offices.

Emails seen by the Observer show JLL @ Facebook, which manages the social media firm’s London sites, asked Churchill Group, which employs the cleaners, to remove the workers’ elected union rep, Guillermo Camacho, from Facebook’s offices after he helped organise protests against a doubling of cleaning duties in July.

“The number of floors we have to clean has gone up from five to 12 [at Facebook’s offices on Brock Street]. But they haven’t brought in more staff. It’s impossible – I was having to come before my shift and leave late to get it done,” said Camacho. “It’s making us all really stressed and sick. That’s why we had to protest.”