Hundreds of Ochsner Employees Fired For Not Being COVID Vaccinated
Things just got real for a number of workers at Ochsner Health in Louisiana and Mississippi as they apparently stood their ground on the current COVID vaccine dilemma and have been fired for not conforming with the healthcare giant's COVID-19 vaccination policy.
In an article from the Louisiana Radio Network,
Most of the 280 people terminated are contract employees who work on an as-needed basis. Ochsner Health officials say those employees in good standing would be eligible for rehire once they’re in compliance with Ochsner Health policy.
Defending Ochsner's position on what some would consider the biggest political issue involving personal choice for a person's own body, since Roe vs Wade, Tulane Health Care Economist, Charles Stoecker said, “Would you rather go to a hospital where the staff is immunized against COVID or where the staff may be vulnerable to COVID and possibly transmit COVID to you?”
Stoecker goes on to explain that the Ochsner COVID vaccination policy is somewhat lenient for those electing to not receive the vaccination, “Staff can apply for exemptions through religious or other reasons and then alternative protocols are put into place. They need to wear a mask, they need to be tested weekly.”
Those electing to take the non-vaccine stance could possibly see their day in court, but according to an article on forbes.com, even though OSHA has suspended the federal vaccine mandate for private companies while its constitutionality is reviewed, employers can still enact their own vaccination requirements, and if fired for "not complying with company policy", they might not even be eligible for unemployment benefits.
However, states like Iowa, Tennessee, Florida and Kansas have all passed laws providing that workers terminated for not getting vaccinated can still received unemployment benefits.
Another article from aarp.org states that both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission say that federal law doesn't prohibit employers from requiring the vaccination and that the U.S. Department of Justice agrees that employers can require the vaccine of workers.
Who knows how all of this will play out, but rest assured, some are so dedicated to what they consider their right of "choice" they're willing to walk away from their career over it.