by WorldTribune Staff, June 18, 2021
If Texas Gov. Greg Abbott banned vaccine passports in his state, as he says he has, why are 178 employees at Houston Methodist Hospital poised to lose their jobs for not getting the coronavirus jab?
“Today, I signed a law that prohibits any TX business or gov’t entity from requiring vaccine passports or any vaccine information,” the Republican governor declared in a June 7 Twitter post.
“Abbott signed the bill into law that afternoon. Later that evening, Houston Methodist Hospital employees were protesting their employers’ mandate they receive a COVID-19 vaccination. The law prohibiting vaccine passports Abbott signed doesn’t protect employees from an employer’s COVID-19 vaccination requirements,” the website Texas Scorecard reported on June 16.
A federal judge in Houston on June 12 dismissed a lawsuit brought by 117 employees at the hospital over the mandatory coronavirus vaccine requirement.
Texas Scorecard spoke with Jared Woodfill, the attorney representing the employees in the suit, “and asked him about the matter and, in light of Abbott reportedly planning to call multiple special sessions of the legislature, what his clients would ask Abbott to do.”
“I believe legislation should be passed prohibiting an employer from requiring an employee to participate in a vaccine trial as a condition for employment,” Woodfill told the site. “Your job should not be contingent on your willingness to be a human guinea pig.”
“Those opposing the hospital mandate argue the current COVID-19 vaccines available haven’t yet received full FDA approval, only given what’s referred to as ’emergency use authorization,’” Texas Scorecard notes.
“Governor Abbott needs to exercise some leadership and make this issue a priority during the special session,” Woodfill emphasized.
Houston Methodist is not the only company operating in Texas attempting to enact what amounts to a vaccine passport policy.
Related: No Jab? No Job: Judge sets precedent for corporate vaccine mandates, June 14, 2021
“Around the same time as the hospital employees’ protests, cruise ship company Carnival announced that when they resume cruises from Galveston in July, they will be asking customers to show proof of having received a COVID-19 vaccination,” Texas Scorecard reports.
With its recent court victory, albeit one handed down by a judge who has the second-highest rate of overturned rulings on the 5th U.S. Circuit, Houston Methodist is pleased.
“All our employees have now met the requirements of the vaccine policy and I couldn’t be prouder of them,” President and CEO Dr. Marc Bloom exclaimed, Texas Scorecard reports.
Attorney Woodfill vowed that the fight to save his clients’ jobs will go on.
“With respect to the case, this is just one battle in a larger war to protect the rights of employees to be free from being forced to participate in a vaccine trial as a condition for employment,” he stated.
“We will be appealing this case to the United States Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court if necessary,” Woodfill added. “Additionally, we will be seeking a ruling from the Texas Supreme Court in a similar case. All of my clients continue to be committed to fighting this unjust policy.”