Amtrak has suspended its COVID-19 shot mandate for employees in order to avoid service interruptions and allow the passenger trains to operate as scheduled.
The rail company was previously requiring a mandate to take effect on January 4 even though the company admitted that losing hundreds of employees would have caused the rail operator to alter its service for months. About six percent of the railroad’s workforce could have been terminated for not receiving the injection. As a result, Amtrak could be forced to reduce train service in January even as the company tries to recover from the previous year’s Coronavirus “pandemic” when service plummeted by 97 percent.
However, the states of Georgia, Alabama, Indiana, Kansas, South Carolina, Utah and West Virginia, the governors of several of those states, and various state agencies, including the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, filed a lawsuit seeking relief against Biden’s executive order which requires that contractors and subcontractors performing work on certain federal contracts ensure that their employees and others working in connection with the federal contracts receive all the COVID shots. Last week, a federal judge issued a nationwide injunction blocking the unlawful shot mandates from going into effect against federal contractors.
Amtrak Chief Executive Bill Flynn said the court decision “caused the company to reevaluate our policy and to address the uncertainty about the federal requirements that apply to Amtrak.” Now the rail company will require weekly testing as an alternative to the shot for workers.
“After reviewing our system service plans in light of these changes, we do not anticipate having system-wide service impacts in January,” Flynn said.
Liberty Counsel has provided consultation to US Freedom Flyers, a group of approximately 35,000 transportation industry employees, to inform its members of their legal rights under the federal Emergency Use Authorization law, Title VII, and other applicable state and federal laws. US Freedom Flyers currently includes employees of all travel and transportation-affiliated industries, including pilots, flight attendants, mechanics, dispatchers, gate agents, and rampers. There are employees of 26 airlines, including five airlines — Allegiant, Omni Air Cargo, American Airlines, Jet Blue and Alaska Airlines — that currently have shot mandates. Amtrak, Boeing and Lockheed Martin are also some of the companies included in this organization.
Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “Amtrak had to back off the shot mandate because it would have lost so many workers. No one should be forced to inject the COVID shots in their bodies against their will and many of these transportation employees will not comply with these unlawful mandates.”