HOUSTON, Texas — Houston Methodist has suspended 178 healthcare workers for two weeks without pay for refusing to comply with the hospital system's COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
Houston Methodist CEO Dr. Marc Boom made the announcement in an email to staff on Tuesday, the Washington Post reported.
According to USA Today, Boom said 27 of those suspended had received one dose of vaccine.
Boom added that if they aren't fully vaccinated after the two weeks, they'll be fired.
According to The Post, Houston Medical gave exemptions to 285 employees for religious and medical reasons, and 332 received deferrals.
The New York Times reported that the suspension comes after dozens of workers protested the policy on Monday.
Nurse Pierre Charland told the Houston Press that she wouldn’t risk losing her job for not getting the flu shot, "but this one is different."
According to the Times, 117 hospital employees filed a lawsuit against Houston Methodist last month over the policy, which required manager-level employees to get vaccinated by mid-April, with most of the hospital’s workers having until June 7 to take at least one dose.