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Over 100 staff sue Houston Methodist over COVID-19 vaccine requirement

More than 100 employees at Houston Methodist Hospital sued the hospital over its requirement for staff to get vaccinated for COVID-19.

The complaint filed by 117 employees alleges that they are illegally being required to get vaccinated, according to The Washington Post.

The plaintiffs allege that the hospital is “forcing its employees to be human ‘guinea pigs’ as a condition for continued employment,” according to the newspaper.

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The suit comes as a June 7 deadline approaches for the staffers to get vaccinated under Houston Methodist’s new policy.

Houston Methodist was the first hospital system in the U.S. to issue a vaccine mandate for staff. Managerial staff were given until April 15 to get inoculated.

The plaintiffs allege that the mandate “requires the employee to subject themselves to medical experimentation as a prerequisite to feeding their families,” the Post reported. The complaint also falsely claims that the vaccines are an “experimental COVID-19 mRNA gene modification injection."

In a statement to The Hill, Houston Methodist said it is “unfortunate that the few remaining employees who refuse to get vaccinated and put our patients first are responding in this way.”

“The COVID-19 vaccines have proven through rigorous trials to be very safe and very effective and are not experimental,” the hospital said. “More than 165 million people in the U.S. alone have received vaccines against COVID-19, and this has resulted in the lowest numbers of infections in our country and in the Houston region in more than a year.”

About 99 percent of Houston Methodist’s 26,000 employees have met the vaccination requirements, the hospital told The Hill.

The Equal Opportunity Commission said Friday that federal laws do not prevent employers from requiring all employees “physically entering the workplace” to get vaccinated.

However, employers still have to accommodate employees who — due to a disability or religious reasons— decide not to get vaccinated.