HOUSTON – Several Houston Methodist nurses and employees protested the vaccine requirement that goes into effect after Monday, June 7.
“I took my mask off, threw my mask on, walked out the door, and here I am,” nurse Jennifer Bridges said. “They are not doing the right thing. They need to give people choices. They can’t force things upon people.”
Bridges organized a demonstration outside of Houston Methodist Hospital in Baytown where dozens of supporters and employees voiced concern over the issue.
“I feel like they kind of bullied us into this little corner like you have to do it or you don’t have a job. This is my only source of income,” ER nurse Amanda Rivera said. Rivera is not on the lawsuit but supports the cause.
“My suspension starts tomorrow. It will be two weeks with no pay and if you don’t comply, you go to termination,” Rivera said.
Houston Methodist released the following statement in regards to the walkout:
“Today is the deadline for Houston Methodist employees to comply with the mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policy. We are proud to report that almost 100 percent of our 26,000 employees have complied, making the right decision to fulfill their sacred obligation to protect our patients. Unfortunately, a few employees have not met the vaccine requirements and are inviting other employees to join them as they end their shifts today. We fully support the right of our employees to peacefully gather on their own time, but it is unacceptable to even suggest they abandon their patients to participate in this activity. We have faith that our employees will continue putting our patients first. It is unfortunate that today’s milestone of Houston Methodist becoming the safest hospital system in the country is being overshadowed by a few disgruntled employees.”
Last week, a lawsuit was filed against Houston Methodist over its mandate for “requiring its employees to be injected with an experimental vaccine as a condition of employment,” according to the lawsuit, filed by attorney Jared R. Woodfill.