Houston Methodist faces 2nd lawsuit over employee vaccine mandate

Sixty-two former Houston Methodist employees are alleging wrongful termination after they were fired for not complying with the organization's requirement for employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19, according to ABC 13.

The lawsuit comes about two months after another lawsuit against Houston Methodist was dismissed.

In the latest lawsuit, plaintiffs are 62 former employees of various Houston Methodist campuses, including the hospitals in The Woodlands, Baytown, Sugar Land, Clear Lake and the Texas Medical Center, ABC 13 reported Aug. 17.

Houston Methodist announced its mandatory vaccination policy March 31 and set April 15 as the deadline for managers to receive at least one dose or get an exemption. More than 99 percent of the management team had complied by April 15. By June 7, all 26,000 employees were required to comply. 

A total of 153 employees either resigned during a two-week suspension period or were terminated June 22 for not complying with the health system's COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

More than 100 employees filed a lawsuit over the requirement in May, arguing that it forced them to get an experimental vaccine to keep their jobs. But U.S. District Judge Lynn N. Hughes ruled June 12 that the health system did not violate state or federal law or public policy with its requirement.

The new lawsuit, alleging wrongful termination, was filed Aug. 16 by a Houston attorney who also brought the previous lawsuit, according to ABC 13 and a statement from Houston Methodist.

In its statement, Houston Methodist called the latest lawsuit "frivolous" and "filled with misinformation and untruths about the protection having COVID-19 gives an individual and the safety and efficacy of the vaccines."

The health system said it is confident it will prevail in the legal battle and remains focused on caring for patients. 

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