AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) – A lawsuit filed in the Aiken Count Courts Thursday represents more than 75 defendants concerning the way that the vaccine mandate has been handled at Savannah River Site by Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, LLC.

The complaint calls for an injunction to block implementation of the private employer vaccine mandate by SRNS.

We first told you of the controversy on Tuesday when Savannah River Site employees gathered to discuss possible action that would see their badges taken by October 15th if they had not received at least one vaccine for COVID.

According to a Federal mandate implemented by President Joe Biden, all Federal workers and companies contracted with the Federal Government are to be fully vaccinated by the end of November or risk losing their job.

Several Savannah River Site employees say, their religious and medical exemption forms were not considered by SRNS when mandating the vaccine.  The employees also indicate that SRNS is violating state law that prohibits private employers from forcing its workforce to receive any of the 3 available COVID vaccines. 

The defendants have 30 days to answer the complaint.

SRS’s statement is as follows:

The health and safety of the Site workforce continues to be the priority of SRS leadership and we continue to utilize all mitigation control options available to ensure the safety of our workforce. Vaccines provide us with the most effective tool to help ensure a safe work environment and better protect us from serious illness due to the virus. The Pfizer vaccine is currently offered on Site at SRS and other vaccines are readily available throughout the community.

The Biden administration issued Executive Order 14042 on Sept. 9, 2021, which mandates the vaccination of Federal Employees, to include Federal Contractors.  Prior to the issuance of the Executive Order, prime contractors at SRS had already begun the process of mandating the COVID-19 vaccine.  The decision to mandate vaccination as a condition of employment was reached based on scientific evidence concerning the vaccines effectiveness and guidance from the CDC. Exceptions to the requirement, such as a medical condition or religious exemption that prevents vaccination, are considered on a case by case basis.

Deadlines for full vaccination for the Site workforce as mandated by the Biden Administration are as follows:

•             All Federal Employees                                                      Full Vaccination  by Nov. 22, 2021

•             All Federal Contractor Employees                                  Full Vaccination by Dec. 8, 2021

Self-determined deadlines for full vaccination by SRS Prime Contractors

o             Savannah River Nuclear Solutions              Full Vaccination by Nov. 30, 2021

o             Savannah River Remediation                       Full Vaccination by Nov. 30, 2021

o             Battelle Savannah River Alliance                 Full Vaccination by Nov. 30, 2021