Campaign pushes back, threatens to sue City of Raleigh over vaccine mandate for employees

Coronavirus

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNNC) – It has been roughly a week since the City of Raleigh’s new vaccine requirement for its employees kicked in.

Employees must be fully vaccinated to be eligible for promotions.

However, the people behind a GoFundMe campaign representing city employees say the city is wrong.

The fundraiser said there are plans to sue and file a complaint against this “overreach of power and medical discrimination.”

Organizers of the campaign are asking for the community’s support.

“I think the GoFundMe page will appeal to people’s emotions. I think the argument being made is in the interest of fairness that since they soldiered on through the heart of the pandemic that they should get some consideration,” said Browne Lewis, Dean of the School of Law at North Carolina Central University.

“Discrimination is treating a person different because of a trait like race or religion or disability. With these vaccination mandates, everyone is treated equally,” she explained.

However, this is not the only pushback. The North Carolina Police Benevolent Association said it sent two letters to the City of Raleigh.

The second one questions why promotions hinge on getting vaccinated when officers and employees originally just had to submit weekly COVID-19 tests.

Raleigh is not the only city with employee pushback to vaccine mandates.

North Charleston and Los Angeles employees are among those suing their cities recently over similar mandates.

“This is a way to get the employer to the negotiation table. Because even if you can win in the court. You may not win in the court of public opinion,” Lewis said.

CBS17 did reach out to the city and Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin. The city chose not to comment.

“We want to ensure they stay safe and the public stays safe,” Baldwin said in a text message.

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