The attorneys for Lafayette hospital employees who filed suit to contest COVID-19 vaccine mandates have filed an appeal.

As you recall, a law firm out of Alexandria, Louisiana filed lawsuits for the handful of health care workers from Ochsner and Our Lady of Lourdes who feel that vaccine mandates are unconstitutional. The judge in the Ochsner case threw the case out, saying that the health system is a private entity; the judge in the Lourdes case took no action, as no one had been fired over the mandate.

According to the story from KATC TV3, the appeal is filed with both the Third Circuit Court of Appeal and the Louisiana Supreme Court.

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Employees of Ochsner Lafayette General who do not receive the coronavirus vaccine by October 29 will be terminated, according to the hospital's new policy.

Our Lady of Lourdes has set in place separate vaccination deadlines for its employees: the "Leaders" group has a deadline of October 31st to receive the vaccination or face suspension without compensation. The second group, the "Staff" group, has until November 30th to receive their vaccine. If they fail to do so, they will also face suspension without pay until they are vaccinated.

Our Lady of Lourdes
Photo courtesy of OLOL

If any suspended members of the "Leaders" group do not receive their vaccination by November 30th, they will be terminated. Suspended members of the "Staff" group will be met with the same consequences if they aren't vaccinated by December 31st.

According to KATC TV3, Warner Thomas, President and CEO of Ochsner, said that the vaccination numbers for the health system's employees are rising.

Thomas said in a statement to KATC that when the vaccine mandate was announced, Ochsner Health employees were at 69% vaccinated. To date, that rate has increased to 86% for fully vaccinated, and 90% for those with at least one dose.

Thomas credits an increase in vaccine outreach and education for the rise in vaccination numbers among their employees.

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