US Supreme Court rejects request to block Massachusetts hospital vaccine mandate
1662222 / Pixabay
US Supreme Court rejects request to block Massachusetts hospital vaccine mandate

The US Supreme Court Monday rejected a request to block a COVID-19 vaccine mandate being implemented by Mass General Brigham, a large Massachusetts hospital system.

The employees of Mass General Brigham made the request last week following the hospital’s refusal to grant employees individual exemptions, both religious and medical, to the hospital system’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. Mass General Brigham’s deadline for employees to receive the vaccine was November 5. Since then, employees who refused the vaccine have been fired—including the employees who brought suit.

Hospital employees appealed the case to the Supreme Court following a First Circuit decision in favor of Mass General Brigham, which also refused to block the hospital system’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. In their request to the Supreme Court, hospital employees claimed Mass General Brigham’s refusal to accommodate employees’ individual exemption claims violates Title VII and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

As Circuit Justice for the First Circuit, Justice Breyer reviewed the hospital employee’s request. Justice Breyer’s refusal was posted less than one week after the request was initially submitted as a one line notice. No further reasoning was given for Justice Breyer’s decision.

This refusal means that the First Circuit decision will stand. The COVID-19 vaccine mandate will remain in place and Mass General Brigham will retain the ability to deny employees’ individual exemption claims.