Yesterday saw the deadline for employees of one of Houston’s largest healthcare and hospital systems in the Houston areas and the nation pass to either be vaccinated for Covid-19 or lose their jobs. 10 days ago, on June 12th, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by employees who claimed it was illegal to force employees to be vaccinated. Additionally the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled in December of 2020 that companies can legally mandate that all employees re-entering the workplace and new hires be vaccinated for Covid-19.
Of the 178 employees who were refusing to be vaccinated, 25 have since been vaccinated and have been reinstated to their jobs. Of the remaining 153 employees, many resigned and those that didn’t have now been terminated. Of the original 178 employees refusing to get vaccinated, 117 brought the federal lawsuit which claimed the vaccines were “experimental and dangerous”, and that it is “wrongful” to terminate them for refusing such a dangerous drug.
Under Texas law, you can not be terminated if your employer requires you to do something that is illegal and you refuse. The judge in the federal case noted this in his ruling to dismiss the case.
Of the three vaccines approved for use in the United States, each of them have emergency use authorization and none have been given normal FDA approval like most regular medicines that Americans take on a daily basis.
Houston Methodist employs over 26,000 workers across 9 hospitals, care facilities and rehab centers including its main campus located in the Texas Medical Center, the world’s largest medical center and research center spanning over 36 square blocks of high rise towers located just south of downtown Houston. It is routinely ranked among the best hospitals in the nation by U.S. News & World Report’s annual reviews.