Plaintiff told she can refuse the vaccine but "will simply need to work somewhere else"
A U.S. federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought by 117 workers at a Texas hospital over a mandatory requirement that they be vaccinated against COVID-19, according to a report by Reuters.
U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes upheld Houston Methodist Hospital's policy requiring all employees be vaccinated, in a ruling. Jennifer Bridges, a nurse and the lead plaintiff in the case, had argued that if she was fired for refusing a vaccine, it should be considered wrongful termination.
She also said the vaccines are experimental and dangerous but the judge did not find merit in either argument.
"Methodist is trying to do their business of saving lives without giving them the COVID-19 virus," Hughes said. "It is a choice made to keep staff, patients and their families safer.
"Bridges can freely choose to accept or refuse a Covid-19 vaccine; however, if she refuses, she will simply need to work somewhere else."
According to the ruling, Texas law only protected employees from being fired for refusing to commit an illegal act.
A lawyer for the workers who sued plans to appeal said this legal battle has only just begun. Jared Woodfill said: “Employment should not be conditioned upon whether you will agree to serve as a human guinea pig."
In a statement, Houston Methodist called the lawsuit frivolous and said it was pleased with the judge's decision. It added that 24,947 hospital employees have met the vaccine requirements.