Allegheny County’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate heading to federal court

PITTSBURGH — Both the city of Pittsburgh’s and Allegheny County COVID-19 vaccine mandate cases have now been moved to federal court and a judge is set to hear arguments later this month.

Target 11 has also learned that Allegheny County has filed a motion to dismiss the suit.

Unions representing both Allegheny County Police and the Allegheny County Jail guards filed lawsuits in Pennsylvania court, attempting to block the vaccine mandate that takes effect for all Allegheny County employees on Dec. 1.

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The unions claim the vaccines are experimental with unknown side effects and they contend it must be negotiated.

Those cases have now been combined, Target 11 has learned, and that singular case has been moved to federal court. Allegheny County has now filed a motion to dismiss the suit.

According to court filings, the county claims it has managerial discretion to implement the mandate without bargaining with the unions.

They also claim that public health, safety and welfare are more important than collective bargaining, and that Pennsylvania law authorizes the county mandate under the Disease Prevention and Control law of 1955.

A federal judge is scheduled to hear arguments in the case on Nov. 22.