In what has been called one of the largest-ever mass firings related to vaccination compliance, North Carolina’s Novant Health confirmed that it had recently fired 175 hospital employees who failed to comply with the organization’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
The Hill’s Jordan Williams reported that “approximately 375 of its 35,000-member workforce [at Novant Health] was noncompliant with the mandate, and those individuals were placed on a five-day, unpaid suspension.”
Team members were warned that those who remained noncompliant following their suspension could potentially have their employment terminated.
Novant Health issued a statement to The Hill on Tuesday, Sept. 28, saying roughly 200 additional team members have come into compliance since last week’s update.
A Novant spokesperson said employees who neglected to get vaccinated and refused to follow the hospital system’s requirements were fired from their jobs.
“Novant Health first announced its vaccine mandate on July 22,” Williams reported. “Under the mandate, employees had until Sept. 15 to be fully vaccinated.”
A small group of employees was granted a medical or religious exemption from the required vaccination. Under new hospital guidelines, those individuals must “undergo weekly coronavirus testing and wear N95 respirators and eye protection while working on the premises.”
Novant Health is not alone in making tough decisions about vaccine policies and then following through with disciplinary action. Houston Methodist in Texas was one of the first hospitals in the nation to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for its employees. Afterward, 150 employees were fired or resigned after they refused to get their vaccination shot. Hospitals in New Jersey and South Carolina have faced similar scenarios.
“President Biden has mandated that employers with at least 100 employees require vaccines or make employees undergo weekly testing,” Williams said. “Last month, he required nursing home staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and threatened to withhold federal aid from facilities that do not comply.”