In Texas, about 150 former Houston Methodist Hospital employees, who were terminated or resigned due to the hospital’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, are demanding reinstatement.
After Texas Governor Greg Abbott countered the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate by signing his own executive order stating that “[n]o entity in Texas can compel receipt of a COVID-19 vaccine by any individual,” the door opened for employees who lost their jobs to seek legal remedy.
Enter Lawyer Jared Woodfill, who is advocating for healthcare workers in several lawsuits against Houston Methodist.
“Gov. Abbott says very clearly,” Woodfill wrote in a letter to the hospital this Tuesday, that “Texans [should not] ‘fear losing their livelihoods because they object to receiving a COVID-19 vaccination for reasons of personal conscience.’”
Based on the order, employees who were terminated from their Houston Methodist jobs should “immediately be reinstated to their former positions,” Woodfill continued in his letter.
Hospital administrators have resisted the Governor’s order. Siding with the Biden administration, Houston Methodist CEO Marc Boom said he is “deeply disappointed in the governor’s order that tries to prohibit [vaccine] mandates.”
“We are proud of our employees and physicians, who are 100 percent compliant with our vaccine policy,” Boom noted.
That statistic, however, does not account for the approximately 150 former employees who are currently demanding their jobs back.
Regarding the Governor’s recent executive order, Boom said, “We are reviewing the order now and its possible implications.”
According to a report in the Epoch Times, CEO Boom said he hopes other Texas hospital systems will implement COVID-19 vaccine mandates despite Governor Abbott’s order.
Hospital administration stands in opposition to the Governor’s order, which specifically applies to (and provides protection for) employees “who object to such vaccination for any reason of personal conscience, based on a religious belief, or for medical reasons, including prior recovery from COVID-19.”
Abbott also stipulated that the vaccine is effective and safe, “but must always be voluntary for Texans.”
In July, 178 employees were suspended or resigned from Houston Methodist after declining to get the vaccine. Several weeks later, about 150 more employees either resigned or were terminated.
This follows a report that more than 1400 healthcare workers were fired in New York in October.
A judge rejected a similar lawsuit filed by plaintiffs represented by Woodfill earlier this year. Woodfill plans to appeal.
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