Sisters Guadalupe Flores, 15, right, and Estela Flores, 13, left, from East Los Angeles, get vaccinated with the Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine by licensed vocational nurse Rita Orozco, far left, at the Esteban E. Torres High School in Los Angeles./AP Photo (Headline USA) A federal judge has limited the ability for now for the nonprofit running Oak Ridge National Laboratory to place employees on unpaid leave who receive exemptions to a COVID-19 vaccine requirement.
U.S. District Judge Charles Atchley in Knoxville issued the temporary restraining order Friday barring UT-Battelle from placing employees on indefinite unpaid leave or firing them after they receive a religious or medical accommodation to the vaccine.
The six workers who sued have argued they were told the unpaid leave would be indefinite.
Their employer said in a court filing that the leave will last 60 days — with health benefits intact — and then will be reevaluated. Those with security clearances will maintain them for 90 days, the filing states.
The judge wrote that he will decide by Oct. 29 whether to let the order expire or keep it while the case plays out.
He reasoned that “preventing their (employees’) placement on unpaid leave for a matter of two weeks simply […]
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