Houston Methodist hospital system in Texas, U.S has fired or accepted the resignation of 153 workers who refused to take a coronavirus vaccine.
On Jun 12, a judge had dismissed a lawsuit against the hospital by employees who opposed a Covid-19 vaccine mandate as a condition of employment.
“This is not coercion,” U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes ruled “Methodist is trying to do their business of saving lives without giving them the COVID-19 virus. It is a choice made to keep staff, patients, and their families safer.”
More than 100 of the hospital's employees had filed a lawsuit claiming that the vaccines were "experimental and dangerous," and that it would be "wrongful" to be terminated for refusing to get vaccinated.
The hospital system announced on April 1 that employees would have to get vaccinated in order to retain their jobs, becoming one of the first health care providers in the U.S. to mandate employee vaccinations.
On June 7, Houston Methodist suspended 178 workers who did not receive a vaccination. It gave them two weeks to get vaccinated or face firing.
Gale Smith, the spokesperson of the hospital system, said that employees who complied with the mandatory vaccination policy during the suspension period were allowed to come back to work the day after they became compliant.
The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in December said companies can legally mandate that all employees re-entering the workplace and new hires be vaccinated for Covid-19. The only exceptions allowed are for disabilities and religious reasons.
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