400 Henry Ford workers leave jobs over vaccination mandate

About 400 employees unvaccinated against COVID-19 have quit their jobs at Detroit-based Henry Ford Health System, the Detroit Free Press, Bridge Michigan and Michigan Radio reported Oct. 5.

The employees who left their jobs represent about 1 percent of Henry Ford's 33,000-person workforce. About 1,900 workers obtained exemptions from the health system's vaccination mandate. More than 30,000 employees are vaccinated.

"All things considered, we're losing a very small segment of our workforce. I, quite frankly, wish that was zero, but it's not," Bob Riney, president of healthcare operations and COO at Henry Ford, said at a news conference, according to the media outlets. "But it's a very small percentage, and our new-hire process is already offsetting the folks who declined to be vaccinated and resigned."

During the news conference, Mr. Riney said the system was "still working through some cases and talking to some remaining noncompliant employees about their intentions," the media outlets reported.

Henry Ford announced June 29 it would require workers be vaccinated as a condition of employment. Employees considered compliant received their first of a two-dose vaccine or received an approved medical or religious exemption by midnight, Sept. 10. Those who were not in compliance were suspended and given until Oct. 1 to comply. Employees could return to work after their first dose.

As of Sept. 13, 98 percent of Henry Ford employees were compliant with the mandate.

Henry Ford is among the latest health systems to lose employees over noncompliance with mandates.

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