Rock Island County has asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit against the county health department.

Two workers claim they were fired for not getting COVID-19 vaccines. The health department put the vaccine mandate in the fall of 2021.

Four employees got fired when they didn’t show proof of vaccination. Two of them sued, arguing they refused the vaccine for religious reasons. The workers are members of the AFSCME union and had support from union leaders to win a grievance.

“We went through the union grievance process,” said Nita Ludwig, of the health department. “The arbitrator did find in their favor and they were reinstated in October of 2022, and made whole according to our union contract.”

The workers want their salary and benefits restored back to the door of termination. The county argues the arbitration settlement makes the lawsuit unnecessary. That’s why they filed the motion to dismiss.

Court records show no ruling from the judge yet.