© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An ambulance arrives on the Houston Methodist Hospital emergency room amid a coronavirus illness (COVID-19) outbreak in Houston, Texas, U.S., June 28, 2020. REUTERS/Callaghan O’Hare/File Picture

By Karen Freifeld

(Reuters) -A U.S. federal choose has dismissed a lawsuit introduced by 117 employees at a Texas hospital over its requirement that they be vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19.

U.S. District Choose Lynn Hughes upheld Houston Methodist Hospital’s coverage mandating staff be vaccinated, in a ruling issued on Saturday.

Jennifer Bridges, a nurse and the lead plaintiff within the case, had argued that if she was fired for refusing a vaccine, it must be thought of wrongful termination. She additionally stated the vaccines are experimental and harmful.

The choose didn’t discover benefit in both argument.

“Methodist is making an attempt to do their enterprise of saving lives with out giving them the COVID-19 virus,” Hughes wrote in a five-page determination. “It’s a alternative made to maintain workers, sufferers and their households safer.

“Bridges can freely select to just accept or refuse a Covid-19 vaccine; nevertheless, if she refuses, she’s going to merely must work some other place.”

The choose stated Texas legislation solely protected staff from being fired for refusing to commit an unlawful act and that the requirement is in keeping with public coverage.

Three vaccines acquired emergency authorization in the US, although they haven’t acquired full approval by the U.S. Meals and Drug Administration.

The U.S. Equal Employment Alternative Fee additionally stated final month that U.S. firms can mandate that staff be vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19 with sure exceptions.

A lawyer for the employees who sued plans to enchantment. “This authorized battle has solely simply begun,” the lawyer, Jared Woodfill, stated in an e mail. “Employment shouldn’t be conditioned upon whether or not you’ll comply with function a human guinea pig.”

In a press release, Houston Methodist referred to as the lawsuit frivolous and stated it was happy with the choose’s determination. It famous that 24,947 hospital staff have met the vaccine necessities.

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