UPDATED 6/9, 10:45 a.m. ET: The 178 hospital employees who are refusing to get vaccinated have been suspended without pay for two weeks, the Washington Post reports.
“I know that today may be difficult for some who are sad about losing a colleague who’s decided to not get vaccinated,” Houston Methodist CEO Marc Boom wrote in an internal message. “We only wish them well and thank them for their past service to our community, and we must respect the decision they made.”
See original story below.
More than 100 employees at Houston Methodist Hospital are suing the hospital for requiring all staff to get vaccinated for COVID-19.
According to ABC News, 117 employees joined a lawsuit that was filed on Friday in Montgomery County. The suit alleges the hospital is “illegally requiring its employees to be injected with an experimental vaccine as a condition of employment.”
Houston Methodist, which is reportedly the first hospital in the U.S. to issue a vaccine mandate for staff, has given workers a deadline of receiving the vaccine by June 7.
The plaintiffs allege that the mandate “requires the employee to subject themselves to medical experimentation as a prerequisite to feeding their families,” the Washington Post reports. The complaint also falsely claims that the vaccines are an “experimental COVID-19 mRNA gene modification injection.”
In a statement obtained by ABC News, Houston Methodist CEO Dr. Marc Boom responded to the lawsuit, saying 99% of the network’s employees have been vaccinated.
“It is unfortunate that the few remaining employees who refuse to get vaccinated and put our patients first are responding in this way,” Boom said in the statement . “It is legal for health care institutions to mandate vaccines, as we have done with the flu vaccine since 2009. The COVID-19 vaccines have proven through rigorous trials to be very safe and very effective and are not experimental.”
The lawsuit arrives the same day that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission posted updated guidelines that appear to give employers additional leeway with workers that flout vaccination mandates.