Nurses facing being fired from their Illinois hospital are suing their employer for refusing to grant them exemptions from the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, a move they claim violates state law.
Last month, Riverside Healthcare in Kankakee, Illinois, told all employees who filed for exemptions to the hospital’s vaccine mandate that their requests had been denied, saying that the health care system could not have unvaccinated employees caring for patients.
“Based on our review of your declination request and our COVID Vaccination Program Policy, your request has been denied. Although your religious or strongly held belief may otherwise qualify for an exemption, Riverside has decided to deny your request because you are in a patient-facing position,” the health care system’s letter stated, according to the Daily Journal.
“We take all requests very seriously and respect the time you invested to submit it,” Riverside said, adding that employees who do not want the vaccine could apply for non-patient-facing positions.
On Wednesday, six nurses at Riverside who filed for exemptions and were told they would be fired for refusing the vaccine filed a lawsuit in Circuit Court for the Twenty-First Circuit in Kankakee County. (Read more from “Nurses Sue Hospital for ‘Blanket Denial’ of Religious Vaccine Exemptions” HERE)