June 10, 2014. Hackettstown, NJ. In a decision that will have ramifications for millions of American workers, a New Jersey appellate court ruled in favor of a nurse who was fired for refusing her employer-mandated flu vaccine. After being fired and then denied unemployment benefits, nurse June Valent sued Hackettstown Hospital and won. But don’t expect healthcare workers to be given the right to opt out of required vaccines. Read on to see why.
These nurses gladly wear a protective mask to opt out of their employer’s mandatory flu vaccine rule. Image courtesy of Nurses Against Mandatory Vaccines.
June Valent, the nurse wrongly terminated from Hackettstown Hospital, didn’t win the right for healthcare workers to opt out of vaccinations. Instead, through somewhat of a Constitutional technicality, the court simply agreed that the hospital’s rules about employee vaccinations violated the fired nurse’s civil rights. The hospital had required all employees to be vaccinated for the flu, but it had exemptions for people with medical conditions or those with religious objections. Those wishing to opt out were required to sign a document and explain in writing why they felt they were exempt from the rule, along with providing documentation to prove it.
When Valent refused to get her flu shot, she didn’t cite any reasons at all. She even wore the hospital mask required for all hospital workers who don’t get vaccinated, as per the hospital’s own rules. But Hackettstown Hospital fired her anyway. When she attempted to file for unemployment benefits, the hospital challenged Valent’s claim and even participated in multiple hearings and appeals held by the New Jersey Dept of Labor. But June Valent lost her unemployment battle when the Labor Board agreed with the hospital that she had engaged in work-related misconduct.
Court rules for nurse
When the New Jersey Appeals court ruled in favor of June Valent, the three-judge panel said the hospital violated her civil rights by allowing religious exemptions from the flu vaccine, but no non-religious exemptions. The court wrote in its decision, ‘By denying appellant's application to receive unemployment benefits based only on her unwillingness to submit to the employer's religion-based policy, the Board violated appellant's rights under the First Amendment."
As reported by the local Lehigh Valley Live, Aline Holmes, senior vice president of clinical affairs for the New Jersey Hospital Association was disappointed with the court’s ruling, "With this decision, we worry that hospitals and other health care providers are receiving conflicting messages from regulators and the judicial system when, in fact, our bottom-line goal is simply to protect patients during flu season."
Ruling upholds forced vaccines
So, will hospitals and doctor’s offices stop requiring their employees to be vaccinated each year with the flu vaccine? Not likely. Absent any local or state law requiring them for healthcare workers, most employers will most likely ignore the court ruling and go on threatening the job of any employee who refuses to be vaccinated. Already, the case is five days old and not a mention of it can be found anywhere in America’s establishment media.
More than likely, instead of giving employees the right to opt out of employer mandated vaccines, the employers will simply eliminate religious exemptions from their rules. It was that Hackettstown Hospital exception for employees claiming vaccines were against their religion that the court found un-Constitutional if it wasn’t extended to all employees. Hospitals and doctor’s offices can still force their employees to be vaccinated, as long as that mandate is applied to all employees equally, regardless of their personal or religious beliefs.
Still, many people greeted the news of the court’s decision happily. Our good friend Daisy Luther, author and editor of The Organic Prepper, had this to say upon hearing the verdict, “Every flu season, many medical personnel, hospital staff, and educators are faced with a choice: get the flu shot or get fired. Most folks cave to the pressure, because in an economy like the current one, you can’t really afford to lose your job. Hospitals and other healthcare facilities have been adamant regarding mandatory flu vaccines, even going so far as to fire a pregnant woman who refused the shot. Hopefully this victory will be a step towards protecting others who refuse these mandatory invasions in the future.”