153 Houston Methodist Hospital Employees Resigned or Were Fired for Refusing to Get Coronavirus Vaccine

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. A federal judge dismissed their lawsuit, saying if workers don’t like the rule, they can go find another job. (Yi-Chin Lee/Houston Chronicle via AP, File)

More than 150 Houston Methodist Hospital employees resigned or have been fired as of Tuesday over a recent policy that required hospital employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Monday.

All told, 153 people are no longer employees of the Houston health care chain, Methodist spokesperson Patti Muck said. The hospital has about 25,000 employees, nearly all of whom have abided by the policy, Methodist leaders have said previously.

The firings follow a contentious few weeks in which hospital employees staged protests and filed a lawsuit against the hospital, claiming the policy, announced in April, violated their rights. Methodist was one of the first large health care providers in the country to announce vaccine requirements.

“I’m so happy and relieved,” Jennifer Bridges, the lead plaintiff in the suit, said Tuesday. “I don’t want any part of Methodist.”

Earlier this month, a federal judge tossed the lawsuit filed by more than 100 Methodist employees, most of whom were not doctors or nurses. In it, the plaintiffs argued Methodist’s policy violated the Nuremberg Codes, a World War II- era agreement that bans involuntary participation in medical trials.

Bridges said Tuesday that she and others planned to protest outside Methodist on Saturday, and that conspiracy theorist Alex Jones will be in attendance.

In a ruling earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes disagreed with claims made by Bridges and others.

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SOURCE: Houston Chronicle, Robert Downen and Julian Gill

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