(Reuters) – A federal judge has rejected a lawsuit filed by 117 workers at a Texas hospital over requiring them to be vaccinated against COVID-19. District Judge Lynn Hughes upheld Houston Methodist Hospital's policy of requiring employees to be vaccinated, in a decision issued on Saturday.
Jennifer Bridges, a nurse and the lead complainant in the case, had argued that if she was fired for refusing a vaccine, it would be considered incorrect termination. She also said that the vaccines are experimental and dangerous.
The judge did not find merit in any of the arguments.
"Methodist tries to do his job to save lives without giving them the COVID-19 virus," Judge Hughes wrote in a five-page decision. "It is a choice made to keep staff, patients and their families safer.
" Bridges are free to accept or refuse a Covid-1
The judge said that Texas law only protected employees from being fired for refusing to commit an illegal act and that the requirement is in accordance with public order.
Three vaccines were granted emergency status in the United States, although they have not been fully approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.
The US Commission on Gender Equality also said last month that US companies can mandate that employees be vaccinated against COVID-19 with certain exceptions.
A lawyer for the workers who sued plans on appeal. "This legal battle has just begun," said attorney Jared Woodfill in an email. "Employment should not be conditional on whether you will agree to act as a human guinea pig."
In a statement, the Houston Methodist called the lawsuit serious and said it was satisfied with the judge's decision. It noted that 24,947 hospital employees have met the vaccine requirements. Catalog