Judge rules in favor of St. E requiring vaccinations for employees

Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 1:52 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 25, 2021 at 8:50 AM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - A federal judge ruled in favor of St. Elizabeth Healthcare requiring that its employees are vaccinated against COVID-19.

Now, employees have until Oct. 1 to get vaccinated or must provide a medical or religious exemption, according to the ruling from U.S. District Judge David Bunning.

“If an employee believes his or her individual liberties are more important than legally permissible conditions on his or her employment, that employee can and should choose to exercise another individual liberty, no less significant – the right to seek other employment,” the ruling reads.

Bunning heard arguments from attorneys for both sides earlier this week.

Forty-seven St. Elizabeth employees asked the judge to put the mandate on hold. Bunning denied it on Friday.

The workers argued that the hospital cannot force them to get vaccinated by threatening their jobs.

Lawyers for St. Elizabeth said they have approved dozens of medical and religious exemptions for the vaccine and they even have a grace period where anyone who filed for an exemption only has to have their first dose by Oct. 1 and the second by Nov. 1.

The attorney for St. Elizabeth employees, Alan Statman, told FOX19 NOW “I am evaluating next steps over the weekend.”

Nearly all of the Tri-State’s major health systems are requiring vaccination by Oct. 1.

Read the full ruling below:

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