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Dozens Of Chicago Firefighters, Water Department Workers Sue To Block City's Vaccine Mandate

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The city of Chicago is facing yet another lawsuit over its COVID-19 vaccination mandate for city workers, as dozens of firefighters and water department workers are asking a federal judge to block the mandate.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court on Thursday by attorney Jonathan Lubin, seeks to prevent the city from requiring workers to disclose their vaccination status or be disciplined for not being vaccinated.

The lawsuit states that the plaintiffs could lose their jobs over their "deeply held beliefs that they should not take the COVID-19 vaccine."

The city's policy required all city employees to report their vaccination status by Oct. 15, and led to two separate lawsuits between the city and the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police, the union representing rank-and-file police officers.

The FOP is in court on Friday, asking for a new judge in its lawsuit against the city.

So far, 23 officers have been placed on no pay status, after repeatedly refusing to disclose their vaccination status.

The FOP is now asking active officers to donate $100 per week to a fund to support those 23 officers.

A fundraising website has been set up, and has raised more than $25,000 for those officers in less than 24 hours.

First responders aren't the only ones fighting back against the mandate.

On Thursday, Ald. Silvana Taberes proposed an ordinance to repeal the vaccine mandate and require City Council approval on future mandates that could result in no-pay status for workers.

Tabares explained why she's one of at least 10 City Council members backing the proposal.

"Our first responders have been working throughout this whole pandemic; and, you know, a lot of them are my constituents, and they deserve our respect," she said.

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