June 23, 2021 -- More than 150 hospital workers at Houston Methodist were fired or resigned on Tuesday after refusing to follow a policy that requires employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
The hospital system required its 26,000 workers to get vaccinated or receive an exemption by June 7. Among those, 178 employees refused to get a shot and were placed on a 2-week suspension. On Tuesday, 153 were fired or had resigned, The Associated Press reported.
Workers who received a vaccine during the suspension period were allowed to return to work. The hospital didn’t specify how many workers met the policy and returned to work, according to The New York Times.
Jennifer Bridges, a registered nurse who has led the pushback against the policy, told the AP that her director called on Tuesday to ask if she received the vaccine. She replied, “absolutely not” and was terminated.
“We all knew we were getting fired today,” she told the AP. “We knew unless we took that shot to come back, we were getting fired today.”
As the policy deadline approached this month, Bridges and dozens of other employees protested outside of the hospital and said they wouldn’t get a vaccine. In addition, she and 116 other employees filed a lawsuit against the policy, claiming that the hospital was “forcing its employees to be human ‘guinea pigs’ as a condition for continued employment.”
On June 12, the lawsuit was dismissed in a district court in Texas. U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes said the vaccine requirement didn’t break federal laws. He also denounced the comparison of the p...