Upstate hospitals rolling out COVID-19 vaccine guidelines

Local News

GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Health care systems in the Upstate are rolling out COVID-19 vaccine guidelines.

The federal mandate calls for employees at hospitals and other healthcare facilities that receive reimbursements from Medicare or Medicare to get vaccinated.

Some employees who meet certain exemptions, such as medical and religious beliefs, can forego the shot.

But, in order to guard against spreading the virus, those employees have to follow other protocols, like wearing a mask.

Those who do not qualify for the exemptions, but still choose to remain unvaccinated, could end up unemployed.

Bon Secours says their employees, without exemption, who are not fully vaccinated by January 4th, would face what they’re calling a Progressive Action Process.

Civil Rights Employment Labor Attorney John Reckenbeil said employers have the right to do this.

“Employees are saying: well, they can’t make me do that. Well, unless you have a Constitutional protection or some state protection, like jury duty service, then your employer, it’s a right to work state, can do whatever they want,” said Reckenbeil.

AnMed Health is saying that they too are following the federal regulation, but their employees without an exemption by the deadline will be considered to have voluntarily resigned.

“There’s no doubt about the fact, that even though the hospitals saying they’re resigning their job because they’re not complying with our rules. At the end of the day, they’re being terminated,” said Reckenbeil.

As for unemployment benefits, Reckenbeil says people have to be discharged for no reason, or quit for good reason.

“The state of South Carolina is going to have to make a decision to say: are we going to give people unemployment benefits, because of the fact that they quit their jobs, or get fired, because they’re not getting vaccinated. That’s not been answered yet,” he said.

Spartanburg Regional says they’re following the Federal Covid Vaccination Mandate.

They have not yet disclosed what would happen to their employees who do not comply.

Some state officials are pushing back against the mandate.

State Attorney General Alan Wilson is joining other states in suing the Biden Administration, saying this mandate for healthcare workers is unconstitutional.

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