Ruling: Can’t fire unvaccinated while mandate is challenged

Louisiana News

A healthcare worker fills a syringe with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A state appeals court says Louisiana’s largest health system can’t fire or otherwise discipline employees who refuse to get vaccinated against COVID-19 until the mandate’s legality is decided. The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeal ruled one day before Ochsner Health’s Friday deadline.

A state district judge had dismissed the lawsuit brought by dozens of employees at Ochsner’s Shreveport location. The appeals court ordered Judge Craig Marcotte on Thursday to hold a hearing on the mandate and to block enforcement until its legality is decided.

Ochsner did not immediately comment Friday morning. The 2nd Circuit covers north Louisiana. But the appeals court for southwest and central Louisiana upheld the dismissal of a similar suit against Ochsner Lafayette General Heath.

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