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Hospitals illegally firing nurses for refusing flu vaccines in violation of state law, Civil Rights Act

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: nurses, flu vaccines, fired

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(NaturalNews) If you live in the United States and work in the healthcare field, your personal freedom to make your own healthcare decisions may soon be on the chopping block, that is if it has not already been nixed. According to reports, an increasing number of hospitals and healthcare facilities across the country are caving to government propaganda pressuring them to illegally terminate all healthcare workers who refuse influenza vaccines, an authoritarian trend that openly violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as well as state law.

As reported by ABC News, one such hospital in Indiana has already canned at least eight employees, including three veteran nurses, for refusing to be injected with high-risk chemicals and viral fragments disguised as preventive medicine. Defying these employees' natural and constitutional rights to govern the affairs of their own bodies, the hospital warned these faithful workers that if they did not get a flu shot by December 15, they would immediately be fired -- and several of them have since been terminated.

"This is my body. I have a right to refuse the flu vaccine," explained 61-year-old Ethel Hoover, a veteran nurse who was recently fired from her position at Indiana University Health Goshen Hospital (IUHGH) for refusing to get a flu shot, to ABC News. "For 21 years, I have religiously not taken the flu vaccine, and now you're telling me that I believe in it."

Hoover added that she has only called in sick four or five times at most during her entire two-decade career at the hospital because she was almost always healthy, despite never having gotten a flu shot. According to ABC News, Hoover wore black on her last day of employment with the hospital as a sign of "mourning" -- Hoover's 22-year anniversary at the hospital would have been this February.

Several of Hoover's coworkers, who were all well-aware of the flu shot mandate, told reporters they were shocked the hospital actually went through with the firings. Fellow nurse Kacy Davis says she was "horrified" to learn that Hoover was fired for refusing the shot, and that Hoover was well-liked and was always a great mentor and friend to many of the other nurses with whom she worked.

Firing healthcare workers for refusing flu shots is against the law

After first learning about the flu shot mandate at IUHGH back in September when it was announced, Hoover says she filed two medical exemptions, a religious exemption, and two appeals to avoid having to take the shot. But each of these proper legal protections was ignored by the hospital, which openly sidestepped the law and heavy-handedly told Hoover she would have to get the shot or else be fired.

Though many people are still unaware of it, every U.S. state has laws on the books that protect individuals from being coerced into taking vaccines or any other medicine as a condition for employment or education. In Indiana, individuals can gain exemption from vaccines for both medical and religious reasons. (http://www.nvic.org/Vaccine-Laws/state-vaccine-requirements.aspx)

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 also prohibits employers from discriminating against employees for religious reasons, which in this case includes Hoover's religious exemption from the flu shot. This means IUHGH flagrantly violated Hoover's civil rights, and that she now has a legal case against the hospital for discriminating against her. (http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/titlevii.cfm)

"If your personal beliefs are religious in nature, then they are a protected belief," says Alan Phillips, a North Carolina-based lawyer who is representing several other nurses at the hospital.

According to reports, there are at least 1,300 other healthcare workers just in Indiana who have refused flu shots, and thus face illegal termination.

Sources for this article include:

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