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Preventing & Treating Communicable Conditions

Together Employees, et al. v. Mass General Brigham, Inc.

Overview

Together Employees, et al. v. Mass General Brigham, Inc. (U.S. Court of Appeals, 1st Cir., Apr. 27, 2022): The First Circuit allowed the defendant private hospital’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate for employees to remain in place pending trial because the employees failed to demonstrate irreparable harm. Employees asserted as irreparable harm loss of income, loss of benefits, emotional distress, and chilled religious exercise. The court found that monetary damages could compensate for loss of income and benefits and emotional distress, making those reparable harms. Additionally, private actors, such as the hospital, are not subject to constitutional limitations under the Free Exercise Clause. The hospital did not violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits religious discrimination in employment, because firing employees for refusing to get vaccinated does not require them to violate their religious beliefs; hence, there was no irreparable harm. Read the full decision here.

View all cases in the Judicial Trends in Public Health – June 15, 2022.

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