New York’s largest healthcare provider has laid off 1,400 employees for not getting a COVID-19 vaccine
New York’s largest healthcare provider says it has fired thousands of workers for refusing to receive the COVID-19 vaccine before the state mandate.
Northwell Health announced Monday it had fired 1,400 workers who refused to be vaccinated.
Just a week earlier, the health system announced it had fired two dozen “unvaccinated leaders” at management level or above.
It is unclear what job titles the recently laid off workers had and whether they were clinical or non-clinical workers.
Northwell Health says the remaining 76,000 employees have all received at least one dose of the vaccine.
Thousands of other hospitals and medical centers are expected to announce that they have laid off employees for not having the jab.
“Northwell regrets the loss of an employee under such circumstances, but as health care professionals and members of the largest health care providers in the state, we understand our unique responsibility to protect the health of our patients and each other,” spokeswoman Barbara Osborn said in a statement. declaration. statement, according to Newsday.
“We owe it to our staff, our patients and the communities we serve to be 100 percent vaccinated against COVID-19.”
Northwell Health (pictured), New York’s largest healthcare provider, says it has laid off 1,400 employees for refusing to receive the COVID-19 vaccine
The hospital system says the remaining 76,000 workers received at least one dose before the state mandate that went into effect Monday. Pictured: Sandra Lindsay (left), a nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, has been vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine by Dr. Michelle Chester in New York City, December 2020
It is unclear what job titles the dismissed employees had and whether they were clinical or non-clinical employees. Pictured: New York resident Krystel Walk communicates with a large crowd raining their votes against a mandate to get vaccinated or lose their jobs at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, New York, August 2021
The mandate for health professionals was issued in August by former Governor Andrew Cuomo and backed by Hochul when she succeeded him.
All New York state health workers in hospitals and nursing homes were required to receive at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by Monday, Sept. 27.
Workers who refuse to receive the injections may be suspended and fired.
The mandate is not only for those who deal directly with patients, such as doctors and nurses, but also for administrators, cafeteria workers and even cleaners.
When the mandate was first announced, the state said health workers would not receive religious exemptions, only medical exemptions.
However, a group of 17 workers sued New York for not allowing the vaccine to be rejected on religious grounds, and a judge in Utica issued a temporary halt to require them to get the shot.
A federal judge on Oct. 12 will consider a legal challenge arguing that such exemptions are constitutionally required.
Hospitals prepared emergency plans before fearing the mandate would cause disruptions.
Northwell Health told Newsday that none of its facilities are experiencing disruptions as a result of the firing.
Government Kathy Hochul is considering sending the National Guard to hospitals or signing an executive order allowing graduates and retirees to work to solve staff shortages. Pictured: Hochul speaking after meeting Irish Prime Minister Michael Martin, September 2021
Last week, Hochul released a plan on how she is considering tackling the staff shortage.
One option is to sign an executive order declaring a state of emergency that allows licensed health professionals in other states or countries to practice in New York, as well as recent graduates and retirees.
Another example is deploying the National Guard to hospitals or asking the federal government to send disaster medical response teams.
“We are still fighting Covid to protect our loved ones, and we must fight with all the means at our disposal,” she said in a statement.
“I am closely monitoring the staffing situation and we have a plan in place to increase our healthcare workforce and reduce the burden on our hospitals and other healthcare facilities.”
The state’s Department of Labor has issued guidelines that workers fired for refusing to vaccinate will not be eligible for unemployment insurance “in the absence of a valid, doctor-approved request for medical accommodation.”