La. Supreme Court rules hospital can fire workers for not complying with vaccine mandate
NEW ORLEANS (KSLA/Gray News) - The Louisiana Supreme Court has reinstated a vaccine mandate at one of the state’s largest hospital systems.
KSLA reported the court ruled on Friday that Ochsner has the right to fire its employees for failure to comply with the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, reinstating the decision after a court of appeals suspended the mandate.
Late in 2021, medical workers in Shreveport and Lafayette parishes filed separate suits challenging Ochsner’s vaccine mandate.
The hospital agreed to pause the mandate while the case quickly made its way through the courts. Roughly 75 hospital employees who filed suit argued Louisiana’s medical consent law, which allows adults to refuse medical treatment, barred Ochsner from mandating vaccines.
But the state’s high court says that’s not the case because there is no doctor/patient relationship between Ochsner and its employees. Because those workers are what’s called “at-will employees,” the hospital can fire anyone refusing to get the shot and not violate their privacy.
Friday’s landmark ruling now opens the doors for other employers across the state to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for their workforce.
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