FOX 2 – On what may be her last day as a nurse with Trinity Health – Katelyn Erdei fought back tears.
“The psychological and emotional trauma they put us through after we give our lives to save patients,” she said. “It’s just, it’s unbelievable.”
She says the health system will fire her because she didn’t receive the Covid vaccine or an approved religious exemption.
Erdei tells FOX 2 Trinity denied her a religious exemption three times, but she has coworkers who were approved.
FOX 2: “Did they give you an explanation why your religious exemption was denied, but you have employees who were approved?”
“No. they say that I don’t meet the criteria. When asked what this criterion is, they do not have an answer for me,” she said. “To work through Covid, to have a healthcare hero sign placed in front of my lawn, and then to work for an organization that, their mission is to work in the spirit of the Gospel, and they are not valuing my spiritual beliefs.”
As hospitals across Metro Detroit battle a rise in Covid, flu, and RSV cases much earlier than usual, it appears Trinity Health Michigan will continue on without some of its workforce.
A Trinity nurse shared a letter with FOX 2 saying if employees didn’t receive the Covid vaccine – or an approved exemption – by Friday they will be terminated.
FOX 2: “At any point, was it ever brought up to you that a patient or a parent may have felt uncomfortable with your vaccination status?”
“No, actually I have several patients who have written letters to our CEO who are very upset about this,” said Erdei. “I understand the need for vaccination, I understand the safety of our patients is of the utmost importance, but I also understand legally that I have rights for my religious beliefs.”
Erdei isn’t the only one facing termination.
Bethany Roth says she filed for a religious exemption last year only to learn it was denied without explanation.
“It’s a terrible feeling when someone tells you that your religious beliefs is not valid,” Roth said.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Trinity Health said it’s working with a “small” number of workers who aren’t vaccinated or have an approved exemption.
it continued to say in part – “Our goal is to retain everyone by providing education to assure they meet the vaccine requirements established by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services for health care workers at those hospitals or providers who accept Medicare and Medicaid.”
Katelyn Erdei, Bethany Roth – and several of her colleagues – have filed a class-action lawsuit against the health system.
Trinity Health nurses Katelyn Erdei , left, and Bethany Roth.