Sandia National Labs decides to pause vaccine mandate amid on-going lawsuit

Jan 12, 2022

Credit Sandia.Gov

Amid an on-going lawsuit against Sandia Labs and their vaccination mandate, Sandia has decided to pause the vaccine requirement.

In a report by the Albuquerque Journal, Scott Aeilts, Sandia’s associate labs director of mission service said the pause will halt the enforcement of the previously announced vaccine mandate that was set to go into effect later this month.

Aleilts told the Journal, “We do remain committed at Sandia to the health and safety of all of our employees or subcontractors, and at this time, we just recently made a decision to pause the enforcement of the mandate here at Sandia.”

As previously reported by KSFR, Sandia made the requirement of vaccines mandatory after President Joe Biden issued an executive order in September of last year. Biden’s executive order required all federal agencies and contractors, like Sandia, to comply with any and all guidance issues by the Safer Federal Worker Task Force. That included a COVID-19 vaccination.

In response to the labs’ vaccine requirement, a group of former and current Sandia employees formed the “Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) Workforce Freedom Alliance”. A group of roughly 200 employees who refused to comply with Sandia’s vaccine mandate. These employees worked both onsight in Albuquerque and remotely in other states. 

Due to their refusal of the vaccine, Sandia began to fire the unvaccinated employees ahead of the January deadline. In an effort to save their jobs, the employees formed the Workforce Freedom Alliance over social media and as a group, filed a lawsuit against Sandia.

The lawsuit filed is seeking an injunction that will allow the unvaccinated workers to keep their jobs.

The case was filed in a federal court in Amarillo, Texas. The lawsuit says Texas court has jurisdiction over the case due in part to Pantex National Labs being located in Amarillo. That particular lab is home to the Weapons Evaluation Test Laboratory, which is operated by Sandia.

The plaintiffs contend that COVID not as dangerous as health authorities and experts have reported. They also state that the vaccine is far more dangerous than the disease.