Houston Hospital Workers’ Legal Action Due to Vaccine Requirement Dismissed by Federal Judge

by | Jun 16, 2021 | Compliance News

A lot of U.S. employers have enforced a policy that necessitates their employees to be COVID-19 vaccinated, such as a few leading healthcare centers and hospitals. These guidelines are in keeping with the guidance given by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in May, which established that U.S. businesses are within their rights to call for their personnel to get vaccinated, with selected exemptions like on medical or faith-based grounds.

Houston Methodist Hospital in Texas launched its vaccine requirement to make certain patients were safe against COVID-19 and had a June 7, 2021 due date for workers to get vaccinated. Though the many workers at Houston Methodist Hospital have consented to get a COVID-19 vaccination, On June 7, a small group of employees had a walkout because of the vaccine conditions. On June 8, the hospital decided to suspend 178 personnel with no pay due to their noncompliance to be vaccinated.

Legal action was taken by 117 of those employees, with lead plaintiff, Jennifer Bridges, professing that if she is laid off for declining the vaccine it would be tantamount to wrongful work termination. Bridges says that the vaccines, which were given by the FDA emergency use authorizations, are experimental and unsafe. three of the vaccines included by the emergency use authorizations have undergone clinical studies and a post-market study and were confirmed to be harmless.

On June 12, U.S. District Judge Lynn N. Hughes from the Southern District of Texas made a ruling that supported the hospital’s vaccination demand. Judge Hughes explained the choice to necessitate the workforce to be vaccinated against COVID-19 was in keeping with the hospital’s public policy and denied the plaintiffs’ allegations that the vaccines were experimental and unsafe.

The hospital’s staff are not participating in a human trial, explained Judge Hughes in his judgment. Methodist is seeking to do their work of protecting lives while not giving [patients] the Covid-19 virus. It is a decision made to hold workers, patients and their family members safer.

The judge stated in the ruling that under Texas laws, companies are within their rights to call for workers to be immunized. There are regulations to safeguard employees against wrongful firing, nevertheless, in situations like this, staff members would only be shielded against termination for declining to do an action that bears criminal penalties.

The employees and doctors made their choices for the benefit of patients, who are continually at the core of all they do. Houston Methodist Hospital Chief Executive, Dr. Marc Bloom mentioned that all hospital personnel has now satisfied the prerequisites of the vaccine policy.

The hospital affirmed that 24,947 personnel received complete vaccination, 285 staff were not vaccinated because of clinical or religious exceptions, and 332 workers were issued deferrals because of pregnancy or some other reasons.

When the suspension time ends on June 21, 2021, termination measures will be enforced for all workers who still were not immunized. The legal professionals representing the plaintiffs have plans to plead the judgment.

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