Employees sue Texas hospital over COVID-19 vaccine mandate

‘It’s illegal to force someone to participate in a vaccine trial.’

More than 100 employees are suing Houston Methodist Hospital over its requirement that all of its employees get the COVID-19 vaccine by June 7.

The lawsuit claims it’s illegal to force people to get a vaccine when the Food and Drug Administration hasn’t officially approved it yet, saying employees are being used as “guinea pigs.”

The FDA has cleared three COVID-19 vaccinations developed by Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson for emergency use.

Jennifer Bridges, a nurse who has worked at the Texas hospital for six years, is the lead plaintiff in the case. She said she wants more time for the FDA to gather more research on the vaccine before she gets it.

“People trying to force you to put something into your body that you’re not comfortable with, in order to keep your job, is just insane,” Ms. Bridges told KHOU-11, Houston’s CBS News affiliate.

Lawyers representing the employees have asked the court to rule the policy illegal and also halt any firings for refusing to comply.

“You can’t fire someone for refusing to do something illegal, and if you look at federal law, it makes it very clear that it’s illegal to force someone to participate in a vaccine trial,” Jared Woodfill, a Houston attorney representing the employees, told KHOU.

Mr. Woodfill did not immediately return a request for comment from The Washington Times.

Houston Methodist is the first hospital system in the United States to mandate that employees be vaccinated with a COVID-19 shot, according to The Hill.

About 99% of the hospital’s employees have complied with the vaccine mandate.