In A Dramatic Turn, The Once-Herald Nurses And Healthcare Workers Are Being Fired For Not Getting Their Vaccination Shots
Last month, President Joe Biden expressed his frustration with vaccine-hesitant people and signed an executive order compelling vaccine requirements for about 100 million Americans. “We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin, and your refusal has cost all of us,” he angrily said during his speech to the nation. Biden added that he was “frustrated” with the 80 million Americans who have not complied, despite the surge in the Delta variant and an alarming increase in cases and filled hospital beds.
Companies with over 100 workers must have their staff vaccinated or submit to weekly testing. Health facilities that receive federal Medicare or Medicaid, with around 17 million workers, will have to be fully vaccinated. The same holds true for employees of the executive branch and contractors who do business with the federal government. They won’t have a testing option.
The Business Roundtable, a group representing some of the largest U.S. corporations, gave its united support to Biden’s plan to require private-sector companies with more than 100 employees to mandate vaccination or, alternatively, conduct weekly Covid-19 testing. The members include the upper echelon of CEO elites, including luminaries such as Alphabet’s Sundar Pichai, Jane Fraser from Citigroup, Amazon’s newly installed CEO Andy Jassy and Apple’s Tim Cook.
After Biden’s speech on September 15, Gartner, a Stamford, Connecticut-based technology research and consulting company, polled 272 legal, compliance and human resources executives following new federal guidance on vaccine mandates for health workers and updated Occupational, Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations on vaccine and testing requirements for employees.
Gartner’s survey showed that 46% of organizations now plan to institute a vaccine mandate where legally permissible. Chris Audet, senior director of research, said about the results of the study, “It is likely that we will see a clear majority of firms instituting mandates of some kind by the end of the year.” We are now seeing companies ramping up their vaccination mandates and some are firing workers who won’t get their shots.
New York City was the epicenter of the disease in the U.S. during the early days of the outbreak. A lovely routine emerged from the daily grimness of life. New Yorkers walked out of their homes at 7 p.m. to bang pots and pans to show their appreciation and gratitude to healthcare workers, nurses, first responders, police officers and EMTs for their heroic actions, in the face of risking their health and lives.
In a dramatic reversal, many of them may now lose their jobs. New York has told workers that unless they receive the vaccination, they can’t keep their jobs. Political officials cite that around 16% of the New York state’s hospital workers, representing about 83,000 people, aren’t completely vaccinated. Roughly under 10% have not received a single shot. They’re demanding for employees to get their vaccinations—or else face the consequences.
For failure to adhere to the state’s vaccine mandate for healthcare workers, New York-Presbyterian Hospital fired about 250 employees who refused to get vaccinated. According Newsday, Northwell Health, New York’s biggest healthcare system, boasting 19 hospitals and over 77,000 employees, “fired about two dozen ‘unvaccinated leaders’—and that those numbers could grow—for not getting at least their first dose to help protect against the coronavirus.”
The Washington Post reported, “A North Carolina-based hospital system announced this week that roughly 175 unvaccinated employees were fired for failing to comply with the organization’s mandatory coronavirus vaccination requirements.” WaPo added, “More than 150 healthcare workers who did not comply with a vaccine mandate at Houston Methodist—one of the first health systems to require the coronavirus shots—were fired or resigned in June after a federal judge upheld the policy. ChristianaCare, a Delaware health system, announced this week that 150 employees were fired for not adhering to its vaccine mandate.”
New York Governor Kathy Hochul, who replaced former scandalized Governor Andrew Cuomo, took executive action requesting the National Guard to take over the responsibilities of nurses and healthcare workers that were terminated. “We’re taking all the steps preemptively in anticipation of what I call a preventable staffing shortage,” Hochul said at a press conference. “I don’t have to do this if people will get vaccinated. There’s plenty of hours left in the day, but I also know I need to be prepared.”
It’s not just healthcare workers. Almost 600 United Airlines employees, who defied orders by the airline to get their jabs by the company-imposed deadline, will lose their jobs. “This was an incredibly difficult decision, but keeping our team safe has always been our first priority,” wrote United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby and president Brett Hart, in a letter to employees.
For those who lose their jobs, there’s another concern. It seems that a worker who violates their company’s vaccine policy may not be eligible for unemployment benefits.