A federal judge threw out a lawsuit this weekend that was pushed by over 100 Houston Methodist hospital employees challenging the hospital’s measure to mandate that every employee get vaccinated against coronavirus. The ruling was the first of its type in the country.
A group of 117 Houston employees filed the lawsuit against the Hospital recently, saying their policy requiring covid vaccination is illegal.
They accused their employer of breaking state law and federal health laws concerning the use of medicine during emergencies, saying covid vaccines are only authorized for emergency use and so they cannot be mandated.
The employees want the court to order the Houston Methodist to not fire the unvaccinated employees. Last week, the hospital suspended some 178 unvaccinated employees without pay for not getting vaccinated against the virus.
They were given until June 21 to accept the vaccine policy before Houston Methodist started the firing process.
Lynn Hughes, the U.S. District Judge ruling on the case, dismissed all claims within the lawsuit, saying that Houston Methodist’s vaccine policy is like any other workplace policy.
“Methodist is attempting to save lives. It is a decision made to keep patients, staff and their families safe. They can freely choose to refuse getting a vaccine; however, if they do, they will then need to find work somewhere else.”
Jared Woodfill, the lawyer representing the employees, reported that he would keep fighting — even to the Supreme Court.
“This is only one battle in a much bigger war to guard the rights of employees to not be forced into participating with a vaccine trial as a circumstance for employment., Woodfill said.
Dr. Marc Boom, CEO of Houston Methodist, celebrated the judge’s decision.
“We can put this behind us now and keep our focus on greater quality, safety, service and innovation., Boom said.
Author: Blake Ambrose