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State workers file lawsuit over Inslee's vaccine mandate in Washington

The lawsuit was filed in Walla Walla County on Friday.

SEATTLE — Dozens of Washington state workers have filed a lawsuit against Gov. Jay Inslee in response to the state's vaccine mandate. 

The case was filed in Washington Superior Court in Walla Walla County on Friday. 

Seattle attorney Nathan Arnold represents the workers and was not available for comment. William Cleary, a King County resident, is listed as the lead plaintiff. Over the phone, Cleary told KING 5 he'd like to comment on the case but is waiting for approval from Arnold. 

Inslee announced the vaccine mandate on Aug. 9 for most state employees and healthcare workers. He later added educators. 

The mandate requires workers to be fully vaccinated as a condition of employment by Oct. 18. The mandate does not allow an alternative option for COVID-19 testing and has limited exemptions. 

The governor's office replied in a statement, "These requirements are legal, and we look forward to responding in court, where to date no challenge to the governor’s use of his emergency powers has been successful. His use of this authority is appropriate given the extraordinary circumstances of this pandemic. It is not unreasonable to ask public servants to protect the public from being infected with Covid."

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