“I love my job, and I loved the people I worked with,” said the preadmissions nurse.

Just as expected, Brock was let go when she told her superiors that she would not put on a surgical mask. It’s the kind the hospital requires for employees — like Brock — who are not vaccinated against the flu.

A board-certified holistic nurse, Brock said, “I have spiritual and religious reasons to not have those toxins in my body.”

Brock is speaking out because she believes the hospital’s new requirement to wear the mask amounts to a scarlet letter; CoxHealth says it is simply putting the patient first.

Mandated flu shots are already part of a national debate that pits employee rights against what some say is patient safety. Most recently, in December, an Indiana hospital fired eight employees who refused to get flu shots, according to ABC News.

Brock’s situation adds another layer to the debate. This is the first year that CoxHealth employees are required to either get the vaccination or to produce paperwork showing an exemption, according to Stacy Fender, media relations coordinator for CoxHealth. In the past, flu shots were only strongly recommended.

In early September, Brock sought and was granted a religious exemption, although she admits she’s more “spiritual” than “religious.”