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Houston Nurses Appeal Vaccine Mandate Case to Fifth Circuit, Aiming for Supreme Court

The Texan

After a federal court judge sided with a Houston hospital system last weekend, medical workers suing over a COVID-19 vaccine mandate have filed an appeal in hopes of pushing the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.


Susan Bickley, a labor and employment partner with Blank Rome in Houston, says that Hugh’s dismissal of the case was not unexpected.

“Based on the law as I understand it and as most labor employment lawyers understand it, it was expected to be dismissed,” Bickley told The Texan. “In my opinion, it was correctly decided.”

Bickley agreed that to some extent under the EUA conditions this may be a case of first impressions, but did not think the circumstances, under which workers may seek other employment, offered the right to sue an employer requiring a COVID-19 vaccine as long as the employer followed EEOC guidelines providing for accommodations or appropriate exemptions.


The issue may become increasingly complicated as employers ramp up post-pandemic hiring while trying to determine whether a fully vaccinated staff or employee privacy is more attractive to new hires according to Bickley.


“Judge Hughes’ opinion gave a shot in the arm to employers who want to mandate the vaccine,” said Bickley.

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“Houston Nurses Appeal Vaccine Mandate Case to Fifth Circuit, Aiming for Supreme Court,” by Holly Hansen, was published in The Texan on June 16, 2021.