NCH employees with vaccine exemptions must display it on their badge


Employees with religious or medical exemptions can still work at NCH Healthcare System despite the vaccine policy, but those we spoke to aren’t not happy about how they’re perceived.


Unvaccinated employees are being required to reveal their vaccination status to others. Three nurses we spoke to have collectively put in close to 65 years at NCH. But all of that hard work almost came to a stop when the hospital system announced its vaccination policy.


“I was almost in disbelief,” Nurse Jacqueline Donovan said. “I was like, ‘No, they’re just rumors,’ and it was kind of a slap to the face.”


“I’ve been here for 35 years, and I’m, you know, planning on retiring a few years,” Nurse Mary Beth said. “I just want to do my job and take care of my patients. That’s all I want to do, and I feel like I have a right to choose what I want to put in my body.”


“So an HR person came to me with a badge and said to me, ‘Here’s your new badge,’” Nurse Jackie Chuck said. “And I said to her, ‘What does the blue line stand for? And she said unvaccinated.’ And I looked at her and I said, ‘Do you realize this is a HIPAA violation?’ This is my medical records on display on my badge.”


The nurses were told they had to get a new badge with the blue line on it, and they all received a letter saying, “Failure to do so will result in administrative leave without rights to a fair hearing.”


“So if someone sees a person with the blue line on their badge without an N95 masks, you can be terminated on the spot.”


“It’s like, well, we gave you the religious exemption? Now we’re going to be pointing you out at every turn you go, and it’s wrong,” Chuck said. “And it creates a very uncomfortable, hostile environment.”




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