Despite Gov. Greg Abbott’s claim that vaccine passports are prohibited in Texas, employees at a Houston Hospital are having to fight their employers’ mandate to take a COVID–19 vaccination. The employees’ attorney has asked Abbott to have the Texas Legislature take action in a special legislative session.
“Today, I signed a law that prohibits any TX business or gov’t entity from requiring vaccine passports or any vaccine information,” Gov. Greg Abbott stated on June 7.
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.
In a June 8 statement, Houston Methodist said they had granted medical or religious exemptions to 285 employees and deferrals to 332 for “pregnancy and other reasons,” while 178 of the hospital’s employees who were not fully vaccinated had been suspended. The hospital’s current policy states employees not fully vaccinated will be fired June 21.
To protect their individual medical rights, 117 of these employees sued the hospital, with Attorney Jared Woodfill representing them. On June 12, U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes dismissed the lawsuit.
Texas Scorecard contacted Woodfill 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 replied. “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” (EUA).
“Governor Abbott needs
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