Former Houston Methodist employees lose appeal in vaccination mandate case

A federal appeals court on June 13 affirmed the dismissal of a lawsuit over Houston Methodist's COVID-19 vaccination mandate, the Houston Chronicle reported June 14. 

In May 2021, more than 100 Houston Methodist employees filed a lawsuit against the health system challenging the legality of the mandate. The health system was the first in the country to mandate COVID-19 vaccination for its workforce.

The lawsuit was dismissed in June 2021, and the plaintiffs then appealed.

The lawsuit claimed violations of federal law and regulations and wrongful discharge under Texas law. On appeal, "instead of reasserting their reliance on alleged violations of federal law and regulations, plaintiffs have pivoted to alleged violations of Texas law and executive orders, and now even equivocate on whether federal law supports their claim," the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals said in its ruling, which was shared with Becker's

The court said it ultimately decided to affirm the dismissal "because plaintiffs do not demonstrate any error in the district court's judgment on the arguments made in that court but instead make an entirely new argument on appeal."

The plaintiffs' attorney, Jared Woodfill, told the Chronicle he will continue to pursue available legal options.

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