A federal judge in Texas on June 12 dismissed a lawsuit brought by 117 Houston Methodist hospital employees who sought to block the hospital’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
In a four-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes wrote that firing the employees as a result of their refusal to take the COVID-19 shots would not amount to wrongful termination. Under Texas law, an employee is considered to have been wrongfully terminated if he or she was fired solely for refusing to perform an illegal act.
COVID-19 is the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.
Hughes, a Reagan appointee, also rejected several claims from the plaintiffs under federal law, including an assertion that the employees are being forced to participate in a human trial for the vaccines since the shots are only being allowed under emergency use authorization. The hospital, the judge wrote, is not participating in a human trial for the vaccines.
“Bridges says that she is being forced to be injected with the vaccine or be fired. This is not coercion. Methodist is trying to do their business of saving lives without giving them the COVID-19 virus,” Hughes said, referring to Jennifer Bridges, the lead plaintiff. “Bridges can freely choose to accept or refuse a COVID-19 vaccine; however, if she refuses, she will simply need to work somewhere else.”
“If a worker refuses an assignment, changed office, earlier start time, or other directive, he may be properly fired. Every employment includes limits on the worker’s behavior in exchange for his remuneration. This is all part of the bargain,” he added.
In a statement on the ruling, Marc Boom, president and CEO of Houston Methodist, told news outlets, “We can now put this behind us and continue our focus on unparalleled safety, quality, service, and innovation.”
“Our employees and physicians made their decisions for our patients, who are always at the center of everything we do,” Boom added. “They have fulfilled their sacred obligation as health care workers, and we couldn’t ask for a more dedicated, caring, and talented team.”
Jared Woodfill, the lawyer representing plaintiffs in the suit, told The Epoch Times in a recent interview that he planned to file an appeal if Hughes agreed to dismiss the case.
“We’re taking it all the way Supreme Court,” he said.