Federal Judge Rules Hospital Can Require Employees To Get Covid Vaccine

The USA Today article is probably one of the more detailed ones on the entire suit, but, left out a few choice phrases from the judge, like saying if the employees do not want to take the vaccine they “simply need to work elsewhere.”

In first federal ruling on vaccine mandates, judge sides with Houston hospital, dismissing claims from staff resisters

In the first federal ruling on vaccine mandates, a Houston judge has dismissed a lawsuit by hospital employees who declined the COVID-19 shot – a decision that could have a ripple effect across the nation.

The case involved Houston Methodist, which was the first hospital system in the country to require that all its employees get vaccinated. U.S. District Judge Lynn N. Hughes ruled Saturday that federal law does not prevent employers from issuing that mandate.

After months of warnings, Houston Methodist had put more than 170 of its 26,000 employees on unpaid suspension Monday. They were told they would be fired it they weren’t vaccinated by June 21.

The hospital had made it clear it meant what it said: It fired the director of corporate risk – Bob Nevens – and another manager in April when they did not meet the earlier deadline for bosses. (snip)

The lawsuit was filed by 117 workers led by Jennifer Bridges, a nurse at Houston Methodist’s Baytown hospital who declined the vaccine because she considers it experimental and dangerous. The judge disagreed, writing: “This claim is false, and it is also irrelevant.”

Switching over to Business Insider, we get

The workers alleged in their lawsuit that the hospital was “forcing its employees to be human ‘guinea pigs’ as a condition for continued employment.” They also accused the hospital of violating the Nuremberg Code of 1947, likening the vaccine mandate to Nazi medical experimentation on concentration camp prisoners.

US District Judge Lynn Hughes was not sympathetic to either argument, writing in his order of dismissal Saturday evening that none of the employees were forced or coerced to take the vaccine. He also noted that the hospital cannot violate the Nuremberg Code because it is a private employer, not a government.

“Equating the injection requirement to medical experimentation in concentration camps is reprehensible,” Hughes wrote. “Nazi doctors conducted medical experiments on victims that caused pain, mutilation, permanent disability, and in many cases, death.”

Yeah, that probably wasn’t the best argument to make, eh?

He added that the workers were free to accept or reject a vaccine and that they would “simply need to work elsewhere” if they chose the latter.

“If a worker refuses an assignment, changed office, earlier start time, or other directive, he may be properly fired. Every employment includes limits on the worker’s behavior in exchange for his remuneration,” Hughes wrote. “That is all part of the bargain.”

Most of the hospitals require employees to get the flu shot, and, while I can sympathize in the Covid shots being put out under emergency use authorization, there have been minimal issues, and there were a lot of rigorous clinical trials and participants.

The lawyer representing the hospital staff, Jared Woodfill, told Insider in a statement he intends to appeal the ruling to a federal appeals court and to the US Supreme Court if necessary.

“This is just one battle in a larger war to protect the rights of employees to be free from being forced to participate in a vaccine trial as a condition for employment,” Woodfill said. “Employment should not be conditioned upon whether you will agree to serve as a human guinea pig.”

Yeah, that might not go far, either. Back to USA Today

Learning of the dismissal from USA TODAY, Bridges vowed not to give up. She has initiated a change.org petition that as of Saturday had drawn more than 9,000 signatures and a GoFundMe to pay for the lawsuit that has raised $130,000.

What the you know what is a change.org petition going to do? Especially when most of the signatures are from people who do not work at the hospital? Especially when it really looks more like a complaint than anything else. I’m also always leery of GoFundMe’s for things like this: you never know where the money is going.

Look, I sympathize with their plight, but, a private employer can require this, and employees are free to go elsewhere if they do not like the terms of employment.

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One Response to “Federal Judge Rules Hospital Can Require Employees To Get Covid Vaccine”

  1. Elwood says:

    “Look, I sympathize with their plight, but, a private employer can require this, and employees are free to go elsewhere if they do not like the terms of employment.” You’re saying that you can fire one of your employees for having AIDS, or cancer, or for being fat…? I don’t think so, so why can someone be fired, or forced to move along, for refusing the rona poiccine?

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