Mayo Clinic sued for termination of COVID-19 vaccine mandate
Mayo Clinic sued for termination of COVID-19 vaccine mandate

Mayo Clinic sued for termination of COVID-19 vaccine mandate

Less than five months after firing more than 700 employees who failed to be vaccinated against COVID-19 within its self-imposed deadline, the Mayo Clinic is facing a lawsuit from a former employee.

In early January the Rochester-based health care system confirmed it had fired more than 700 employees – about 1 percent of a total of 73,000 across all Mayo Clinic locations.

The former employee who became the plaintiff, Shelley Kiel, has filed a complaint seeking a lawsuit with a jury, claiming that the Mayo Clinic had no case-by-case analysis or individualized interactive process to consider religious exceptions, and that their terminations were predetermined.

Mayo introduced a company-wide deadline on January 3, 2022 to receive at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and not be delayed to another dose for the Moderna and Pfizer versions. Only medical or religious exceptions were allowed, “the majority of which were approved” said Mayo at the time.

“This is a time when the Mayo Clinic must stand firmly behind the evidence that supports the effectiveness and safety of COVID-19 vaccines to help protect the health and safety of our patients, workforce, visitors and communities … Based on science and data, it is clear that vaccination keeps people out of the hospital and saves lives, “the clinic said in a statement.

According to the complaint, Kiel previously tested positive for COVID-19 and recovered, giving her natural immunity. Throughout 2020 and 2021, she was asked to work her own plus additional shifts to cover the increase in treatment and care of patients during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic – to do so while she was not vaccinated.

Kiel requested a religious exemption from the vaccine mandate because she “is a Christian who, based on her interpretation of Scripture, believes her body is a temple of the Holy Ghost, and it violates her religious beliefs and conscience to take the vaccination.”

“Instead of engaging in a legitimate interactive process, respecting the sincerity of religious beliefs, or attempting reasonable adjustment, Mayo used boiler language to justify its predetermined outcome,” according to the complaint. Remote jobs were not offered.

The complaint further alleges that Mayo personnel were instructed throughout the process to “approve the vaccine or say nothing.”

Just a few months after concluding Kiel, Mayo reversed part of his vaccine mandate – which showed that the dismissals were either unnecessary or a pretext, according to the trial.

The Mayo Clinic is Minnesota’s largest employer and also operates hospitals and clinics in Arizona, Florida, Iowa and Wisconsin.

FOX 9 has contacted the Mayo Clinic for a comment but has not yet received a response. This is a development story, check back for updates.

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