Crouse Hospital fires 45 employees for not complying with NYS COVID vaccine mandate

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Crouse Hospital has terminated 45 employees for refusing to comply with New York State’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate after losing their religious exemptions, according to a spokesperson.

Monday was the deadline for health care workers who were granted religious exemptions in New York to get the COVID vaccine or lose their jobs.

Last week, the New York State Health Department sent a notice to all hospitals and health care facilities saying employees who were once granted a religious exemption must provide documentation of either a first dose COVID-19 vaccination or a valid medical exemption by Monday to continue working unvaccinated.

Those employees who choose to remain unvaccinated can no longer work in positions where they pose a risk to other workers or patients.

If employees at Crouse Hospital choose to get the vaccine, they’ll be hired back, according to the spokesperson. The hospital is utilizing agency traveling nurses to fill any gaps.

A spokesperson for Oneida Health confirmed to NewsChannel 9 on Monday 17 employees have either left or been fired directly related to not complying with the state’s vaccine mandate.

3 workers have been moved to remote positions and the status of 2 other employees is TBD.

At St. Joseph’s Health in Syracuse, 80 workers who have lost their religious exemption and did not change their mind to get the COVID vaccine could be suspended without pay.

The hospital’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Philip Falcone, said those who have not received their second dose of a two-shot vaccination by December 15 will be suspended without pay. Failure to comply by January 8 will result in termination of employment.

St. Joe’s employees who change their mind and get the vaccine within a year will be welcomed back and will retain their tenure.

Safety is a core value at St. Joseph’s Health and we will do everything we can to keep our colleagues, patients and their families safe. Our goal is to minimize the number of previously-exempt colleagues who will have to leave the health care profession in NYS.

Dr. Philip Falcone, Chief Medical Officer, St. Joseph’s Health

The U.S. Supreme Court must not decide whether to hear a case brought by 17 New Yorkers over the mandate.

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