The attorneys representing the workers’ unions claim the vaccine requirement violates the workers’ collective bargaining agreement.
Hawaii Gov. David Ige announced last week that state and county workers will need to get vaccinated or submit to testing starting August 16, saying those that don’t comply may get fired.
After the announcement was made, many state workers’ unions criticized the governor for failing to discuss the plan with individual unions ahead of time.
Hawaii has one of the strictest masking rules, having kept its indoor mask mandate when other states dropped theirs.
“They’re just asking for the chance to choose,” said Shawn Luiz, an attorney representing the Hawaii unions, told KHON2. “It’s a personal, autonomous healthcare decision, and everyone should make their own choice, whether or not they want to take a vaccine or not.”
Hawaii’s Attorney General’s office told local news that it is “confident” the vaccine and testing policy is “lawful and constitutional,” and it said that the governor did not have to consult the unions before implementing the new vaccine requirement. Discussions between Gov. David Ige and the workers’ unions are set to continue through Monday.