EAST LANSING, Mich. — Two Michigan State University staff members were fired last week after refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Now they're suing.
"They all have naturally acquired immunity," said Jenin Younes, an attoreny with the New Civil Liberties Alliance. "So we're arguing that in those cases, the government can't show any compelling interest in requiring them to receive a vaccine."
MSU required all students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated by Aug. 30, in time for the start if the fall semester, or go through the exemption process.
However, university employees D'Ann Rohrer and Kraig Ehm claimed to have immunity to the virus after recovering. Neither of them got vaccinated and they were fired by the school.
Younes explained that the two reached out to the New Civil Liberties Alliance, a non-profit organization that focuses on administrative overreach. The two joined a pending lawsuit for a similar case.
"We filed a lawsuit on behalf of Gina Norris and others similarly situated as a class action lawsuit in the Western District of Michigan in late August," Younes said.
The lawsuit was amended last Friday, with Ehm and Rohrer added as plaintiffs.
Fox 47 reached out to Michigan State University for a response to the lawsuit and received a statement saying, "To date, more than 90 percent of MSU students, faculty and staff have self-reported they are fully vaccinated."
It went on to say that MSU is proceeding under the appropriate disciplinary procedures for each individual who has not been vaccinated and does not have an exemption.
"Individuals that are found to be in violation of the vaccination directive will be subject to discipline, including removal from campus and termination of employment or dismissal from the university, for the health and safety of the MSU community," MSU spokesperson Dan Olsen wrote in an email.
Rohrer and Ehm are not the only ones facing consequences. Olsen tells me that 16 students have been suspended from the university for not complying with the COVID-19 directives and 96 employees have been fired.