Eighty-four former Confluence Health employees have filed a class-action lawsuit against Confluence Health after resigning or being fired due to the state’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

The lawsuit claims that Confluence Health did not allow employees to keep their jobs by proving they possessed natural immunity to COVID-19.

“All or nearly all of the dismissed employees had been working closely with COVID-19 patients … and had provable or presumed natural immunity due to their exposure to the virus” according to the lawsuit filed in Douglas County Superior Court on Friday.

The plaintiffs want their jobs back and/or payment for the damage caused due to their termination, and other general damages.

Plaintiffs include Joy Dawe, a former Confluence Health nurse who resigned last week from her position on the Eastmont School Board as she looks for a new job.

May Tussey, a former Confluence Health business analyst, and Michele Love-Wells, nurse, are also plaintiffs in the lawsuit. They were recently among 34 applicants for open seats on the Chelan-Douglas Board of Health but were not selected and were not among the 10 finalists.


The lawsuit also questions the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines, stating that unvaccinated employees do not pose a “substantially greater health care threat” than vaccinated employees.

Dr. Peter McCullough, cardiologist and outspoken COVID-19 vaccine critic, submitted a declaration with the lawsuit concluding that mandating COVID-19 vaccines does not prevent transmission among the vaccinated or unvaccinated and does not improve workplace safety.

McCullough said he is not being paid to provide his opinion. McCullough has promoted ivermectin and other unproven, alternative COVID-19 treatments in the past.

In October, Confluence Health granted 229 religious and medical exemptions and received 23 resignations from staff. More than 100 exemption requests were not granted.

For many staff members with exemptions granted, the accommodations were either working from home or taking a 12-week leave of absence. Many staff members didn’t see their options as an accommodation but would not budge on their beliefs, according to former staff.

Confluence Health on Friday afternoon had not received the lawsuit, said Katie Grove, Confluence Health spokesperson.

“Throughout the pandemic Confluence Health has worked tirelessly to protect the community. We are dedicated to providing safe, high-quality care for our patients,” Grove said in an email.

East Wenatchee attorney Steve Lacy represents the former Confluence employees.