The nurses who were laid off by a healthcare facility in Maine during the coronavirus pandemic because they refused to get vaccinated are being invited back to work.
According to The Maine Wire, MaineGeneral Health in Augusta has reached out to former healthcare employees who were denied unemployment benefits.
Former registered nurse Terry Poland shared the message she received from the employer that booted her.
“You were once a proud member of the MaineGeneral team. Would you consider rejoining us? We would be pleased to discuss options with you,” the facility told her in a text, per The Maine Wire.
“As you know, nearly 2 years ago MaineGeneral had to comply with a state mandate for COVID-19 vaccination. We lost a number of great employees as a result, including you,” MaineGeneral continued, noting that the vaccination rule has been waived by the state.
Despite hard economic times after losing her job, Poland, who made about $75,000 a year before being fired, was not tempted.
“I was livid. Like, how dare you force me out of a career that I’ve dedicated my whole life to, taken away my livelihood, my ability to earn a good income, and now you think I’m gonna come grovel back to you?” Poland said.
“I don’t hardly think so. And that’s the attitude of most everybody that I’ve been in contact with since yesterday.”
Poland rejected the mRNA vaccines.
“I knew enough not to take it. I’ve been a nurse long enough to know I need to question what new products are. I’m not going to be the first one to jump on board of an experiment,” she said, noting that her Christian convictions also came into play over concern for the use of fetal tissues in developing the drug.
According to The Maine Wire, as a direct result, she was fired and accused of wrongdoing, rendering her ineligible for unemployment benefits.
Joy McKenna, director of communications for MaineGeneral, said only “a few people” have been interested in returning.
Some nurses who were wrongfully terminated and took their cases to court have found success.
According to The Buffalo News, Wendy Cooper, a nurse at Roswell Park Comprehensive Care Center, has been ordered reinstated, and the center must begin discussions with her for retroactive salary and benefits.
Justice Emilio Colaiacovo of the state supreme court concluded this week that the arbitrator’s judgment against Cooper was “irrational, violative of public policy, and contrary to the interests of justice.”
“Ms. Cooper is an unfortunate victim in the wake of excesses exhibited by governors, administrators, legislatures, and yes, even the judiciary,” the ruling said. “All too frequently did critical thinking and the exercise of personal liberties expire at the altar of false righteousness, fear and authority.”
“Since the mandate which formed the basis for Ms. Cooper’s termination was found to be invalid while the matter was being litigated (in arbitration), the arbitrator’s decision upholding the termination must be vacated,” Colaiacovo wrote.
“It is troubling to find that this arbitrator found it fair and just to confirm Cooper’s termination despite there being scant evidence of Ms. Cooper being derelict in her duties, incompetent or insubordinate, other than refusing to take a vaccine pursuant to a mandate which was found to be found null and void, that the person issuing the mandate lacked the authority to do so, and that the rule was unenforceable.”
Roswell Park has announced that it will file an appeal.