HealthPartners employees who refuse vaccination will be ‘deemed to have resigned’

Under the HealthPartners mandate, employees have until Oct. 30 to get vaccinated.

St. Paul's Regions Hospital, a 149-year-old facility that is part of the HealthPartners network. (Wikimedia Commons)

HealthPartners CEO Andrea Walsh recently informed employees that they will be “deemed to have resigned” if they refuse to get vaccinated, according to an email obtained by Alpha News.

HealthPartners first announced its vaccine mandate on Aug. 5, more than a month before President Joe Biden imposed vaccine requirements on America’s health care workers.

Under the HealthPartners mandate, employees have until Oct. 30 to get vaccinated or “document a medical or religious reason for declining to be vaccinated.”

With that deadline quickly approaching, Walsh took the opportunity last week to specify what “consequences” unvaccinated employees will face.

“At the deadline, colleagues who have not met the requirement will begin an unpaid 30-day leave of absence. During this 30-day period, colleagues placed on leave will still have the opportunity to return to work if they get vaccinated or have an exemption. At the end of the 30-day period, colleagues who have not met the requirement will be deemed to have resigned,” Walsh said in a company-wide email.

According to Walsh, 83% of HealthPartners employees are vaccinated, including 99% of clinicians.

“Our colleague vaccination program and your participation is an important step in keeping our patients, members and each other protected against the serious harms of COVID-19 and influenza,” she concluded her email.

The Bloomington-based company employs more than 26,000 workers across six states.

Some medical professionals who refuse to get vaccinated are taking their concerns to court, filing a lawsuit against 20 Minnesota health care providers last week.

“The Plaintiffs are currently being impermissibly coerced to violate their religious beliefs and their rights under federal and state law,” says the lawsuit, filed by more than 150 nurses.

HealthPartners is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit.