RWJBarnabas Health, a New Jersey hospital system, fired six senior workers for refusing to get COVID-19 vaccines. The Garden State's largest private employer confirmed it parted ways with the employees. It cited “an ethical and professional responsibility to protect our patients and ensure a safe, COVID-19-free environment.”
Senior Workers Fired For Not Getting Vaccines
The firing of the senior workers comes as New Jersey and the rest of the country face another wave of cases as a resurgent virus continues to infect Americans. According to a company spokesman, RWJBarnabas will require mandatory “vaccination for all staff and physicians and will be announcing our plans in the coming days”.
Specifically, this covers more than 35,000 people, including 9,000 physicians and 1,000 residents and interns. The NJ hospital system operates 15 hospitals and a number of medical centers across New Jersey.
No Jab, No Job
Last May, RWJBarnabas announced it will require all senior workers and supervisory staff and above to get a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of June. The spokesman confirmed that the vast majority of the employees already completed their vaccinations.
In fact, by July 14, RJWBarnabas reported that 2,979 employees complied, which means a 99.7% completion rate. It turned out that six employees refused the vaccine. Consequently, the company decided to fire the six workers.
RWJBarnabas became the first New Jersey health system to require vaccinations as a condition for continued employment. As a result, other local health systems are scrambling to implement the same policy.
Last week, Hackensack Meridian Health gave its 35,000 employees a November 15 deadline to get their COVID-19 vaccines. This entails inoculating workers in 17 hospitals and 500 other medical facilities across the state. In addition, employees of Virtua Health, South Jersey's largest health system, have a September 15 deadline to do the same.
Houston Methodist Set The Bar
RJWBarnabas’ actions echo that of Houston Methodist, a Texas hospital system that let go more than 150 workers for refusing to get vaccinated. After a court ruled that the Texas hospital system can mandate vaccinations for its workers, about 150 workers resigned or were given the boot.
The system, which operates a medical center and six community hospitals, was the first in the US to set a deadline for vaccination for all its employees. Many of the 25,000 employees complied.
In a statement, Houston Methodist hailed the court decision. “It is legal for health care institutions to mandate vaccines, as we have done with the flu vaccine since 2009,” the company said.
It also pointed out that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission stated that employers can require COVID-19 vaccines. Since Houston Methodist made its announcement, more than 40 hospitals or medical centers across the country followed suit.
Watch the NJ Spotlight News reporting that RWJBarnabas fires employees for not getting COVID vaccine:
Do you agree with the medical systems’ policy of requiring vaccinations for its workers? Or do you think this is another case of overextending authority by healthcare companies?
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