Essentia fires about 50 workers for refusing to get flu shot

DULUTH, Minn. - A Duluth-based health system has fired about 50 employees who refused to get a flu shot.

Essentia Health announced last month that employees would be required to get vaccinated for influenza to help keep patients from getting infected, or else receive a religious or medical exemption. The deadline was Monday.

Essentia says 99 percent of the company's 13,900 eligible employees have either gotten the shot, received an exemption or are getting an exemption.

The United Steelworkers filed an injunction to try to delay the policy from going into effect, but a federal judge denied that request. Minnesota Public Radio reports at least two other unions are filing grievances on behalf of workers who lost their jobs.

Essentia has 15 hospitals and 75 clinics in Minnesota, Idaho, North Dakota and Wisconsin.

Essentia facilities in Idaho include: Cottonwood, Kooskia, Craigmont, Nezperce, Grangeville,  Orofino, Kamiah, and Pierce.

© 2017 Associated Press


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