Ochsner employees’ attorney explains vaccine mandate lawsuit

Louisiana

SHREVEPORT, La. (BRPROUD) — North Louisana Ochsner Health locations cannot immediately fire employees who refuse to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

This comes as a judge ruled nearly 40 employees deserve their day in court after taking action against the healthcare system.

“There will be a trial about the rights of the employers versus the rights of the employees,” said Jimmy Faircloth, an attorney representing the employees.

Ochsner mandated the COVID-19 vaccine for all employees in August. Leaders said those who fail to get the shot could face termination unless the worker is approved for religious exemption. That decision led to some employees taking action.

“They have a right not to be told to take medical care by their employer, who, quite frankly, who has no business in their personal medical business,” Faircloth said.

According to Faircloth, the mandate violates employees’ reasonable right to privacy to reject medical treatments.

According to Louisiana law, this is an at-will state, meaning an employer can pretty much mandate whatever they want. However, Faircloth said Ochsner’s policy is potentially unconstitutional.

“One of these employees is a young mother, one of them is pregnant. None of them got exemptions,” Faircloth said.

Ochsner Baton Rouge is not named in this lawsuit, but Faircloth said the case should be an eye-opener to all employers who mandate the vaccine.

“There is no such thing as Covid excuse in law,” Faircloth said.

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