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Hospital Workers Rejected at Supreme Court on Vaccine Mandate

Nov. 29, 2021, 7:34 PM

A U.S. Supreme Court justice turned away a request from eight Mass General Brigham Inc. workers for a religious exemption from the Massachusetts hospital system’s requirement that they be vaccinated against Covid-19.

Justice Stephen Breyer rejected the request without requesting a response from the hospital or referring the matter to the full, nine-member court. Breyer, who is assigned to handle emergency matters from Massachusetts, gave no explanation.

The workers, who say they have already been fired from their jobs, contended the mandatory vaccine policy violates federal job-discrimination and disabilities law.

The justices so far have refused to second-guess vaccine requirements. In October, over the dissents of three conservative justices, they let Maine require health-care workers to be inoculated without allowing religious exemptions. The court is currently deliberating over a similar New York case.

The Maine and New York cases focus on the Constitution’s protections for religious freedom, not the federal statutes at the center of the Massachusetts case.

The Massachusetts case is Together Employees v. Mass General Brigham, 21A175.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Greg Stohr in Washington at gstohr@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Elizabeth Wasserman at ewasserman2@bloomberg.net

Jon Morgan

© 2021 Bloomberg L.P. All rights reserved. Used with permission.