Mayo Clinic fired 700 employees on Tuesday because they were not vaccinated by its Monday deadline.
Employees had until Monday to receive their first dose of coronavirus vaccine if they were not granted a religious or medical exemption, according to the Star Tribune. The organization says it greenlit the majority of exemption applications.
Mayo Clinic employs about 73,000 people, so roughly one percent of its workforce was terminated Tuesday, according to CBS Minnesota.
Actions News Jax reports that the organization fired employees at locations nationwide.
Mayo Clinic released a statement, per KIMT, which reads in part:
While Mayo Clinic is saddened to lose valuable employees, we need to take all steps necessary to keep our patients, workforce, visitors and communities safe. If individuals released from employment choose to get vaccinated at a later date, the opportunity exists for them to apply and return to Mayo Clinic for future job openings.
The outlet spoke with Jessica Moore-Wright, who had worked for the organization for 14 years before losing her job on Tuesday.
“I believe in science and I also believe in a personal choice. I mean, I’ve had friends who have had cancer,” Wright-Moore said. “I’ve had friends that have had different viruses and they would do different things but I would never, ever tell somebody that you need to do this because I did. Ever.”
She says she applied for a religious exemption twice, but Mayo Clinic denied her request both times. Wright-Moore told KIMT that a representative informed her she could have her position back if she becomes inoculated within the next year.
She plans to stand by her decision.
“To be able to stand up for something you believe in is important,” she told the outlet. “I do think that every decision we make is important but if you believe in something strongly I don’t believe you should have to cave to keep a job.”