Ex-VA nurse says supervisors retaliated when she requested vaccine exemption
Lawsuit says Sioux Falls facility a hostile workplace
A former nurse at the Veterans Affairs facility in Sioux Falls is accusing her past supervisors of retaliating against her after she requested a vaccine exemption.
Pamela Kepford also claims in a lawsuit filed in federal court against the VA that she was disciplined for sharing her experience with other employees about having an adverse reaction from a previous vaccination. In October 2021, Kepford filed a written request for an exemption from the VA’s vaccine protocols, asking for a religious exemption.
Months went by and Kepford heard nothing about her request. During a meeting with her two supervisors on April 7, 2022 she sought clarification on her exemption request. One of the supervisors told her that a decision had not been made, although Kepford later obtained paperwork showing that in fact the same supervisor had recommended the exemption be denied by the time of the April 7 meeting.
Following that meeting, Kepford claims that her supervisors began a campaign to harass her. In February, she had been 45 minutes late for her shift after working a 16-hour shift. Following the April 7 meeting, she was disciplined in late April for the February tardy, even though in March she had received a positive performance review.
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