Houston hospital workers fired, resign over COVID-19 vaccine

Southwest

FILE – In this June 7, 2021, file photo, a person holds a sign to protest at Houston Methodist Hospital in Baytown, Texas, a policy that says hospital employees must get vaccinated against COVID-19 or lose their jobs. Over 150 employees at Houston Methodist system, who refused to get a COVID-19 vaccine, have been fired or resigned after a judge dismissed an employee lawsuit over the vaccine requirement, said Houston Methodist system spokesperson Gale Smith on Tuesday, June 22, 2021. (Yi-Chin Lee/Houston Chronicle via AP, File)

HOUSTON (NewsNation Now) — More than 150 employees at a Houston hospital system who refused to get a COVID-19 vaccine have been fired or resigned after a judge dismissed an employee lawsuit over the vaccine requirement.

A spokesperson for Houston Methodist system said 153 employees either resigned in the two-week suspension period or were terminated on Tuesday.

Earlier this month, a federal judge threw out the lawsuit filed by employees over the requirement.

U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes wrote in her opinion that Texas law only allows for someone to be protected from wrongful termination if that individual was refusing to commit a criminal act. She states that, “Receiving a COVID-19 vaccination is not an illegal act, and it caries no criminal penalties.”

The ruling further goes to state, “Although her claims fail as a matter of law, it is also necessary to clarify that bridges has not been coerced….Methodist is trying to do their business of saving lives without giving them the COVID-19 virus.”

Previously, dozens of staff members at Houston Methodist Hospital staged a walkout in response to the institution’s policy requiring all staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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