A second wrongful termination lawsuit has been filed against a Houston hospital over its vaccination policy.
In April, Houston Methodist Hospital announced all employees would be required to be vaccinated. Workers had until June 7th to be fully vaccinated or they would lose their jobs.
A federal judge dismissed the first lawsuit filed by 116 employees fighting the hospital’s requirements in June.
U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes called the lawsuit “frivolous.”
She wrote, “The public’s interest in having a hospital capable of caring for patients during a pandemic far outweighs protecting the vaccination preferences of 116 employees … The plaintiffs are not just jeopardizing their own health; they are jeopardizing the health of doctors, nurses, support staff, patients and their families.”
At the time, Houston Methodist representatives issued a statement confirming 178 employees were suspended in June for not complying with the requirement. They also said 24,947 employees got fully vaccinated.
“The 178 who did not comply were a mix of full- and part-time employees. They were not granted an exemption or deferral and were suspended without pay for the next 14 days. A total of 285 workers received a medical or religious exemption, hospital officials said. In addition, 332 employees were granted deferrals for pregnancy and other reasons,” reports ABC 13.
The new lawsuit, filed on Monday, has 62 plaintiffs. They are former employees from different Houston Methodist campuses, including the hospitals in The Woodlands, Baytown, Sugar Land, Clear Lake, and the Texas Medical Center.
According to the Houston Chronicle, “the suit, filed by attorney Jared Woodfill, alleges the hospital’s COVID vaccine mandate goes against Gov. Greg Abbott’s statement that the government can’t mandate vaccine passports in Texas, that breakthrough infections pose a problem with the current COVID-19 vaccines available and that there was no exception for people who have not been vaccinated because they previously caught COVID-19 as a result of their employment.”
Houston Methodist Hospital was the first hospital in the nation to make COVID-19 vaccination a mandatory condition of employment.