Covid vaccine religious objectors win multi-million dollar lawsuit against hospital system

NorthShore University HealthSystem has been ordered to pay out a first-of-its-kind settlement to healthcare workers who challenged the hospital system’s Covid-19 vaccine mandates.

The healthcare workers will share an overall $10.3 million received in the settlement agreement.

Thirteen NorthShore healthcare employees sued the Illinois hospital system in October 2021 alleging the hospital illegally refused to grant religious exemptions to the vaccine mandate.

Liberty Counsel, which represented the workers, said the July 29 settlement agreement affects more than 500 current and former healthcare workers who were denied religious exemptions from the vaccine requirement.

It’s estimated that millions of Americans object to Covid-19 vaccines on religious grounds, including the fact that cell lines from aborted human fetuses have been utilized in production.

“We are very pleased with the historic, $10 million settlement achieved in our class action lawsuit against NorthShore University HealthSystem,” Liberty Counsel Vice President of Legal Affairs and Chief Litigation Counsel Horatio G. Mihet said in a statement:

“The drastic policy change and substantial monetary relief required by the settlement will bring a strong measure of justice to NorthShore’s employees who were callously forced to choose between their conscience and their jobs. This settlement should also serve as a strong warning to employers across the nation that they cannot refuse to accommodate those with sincere religious objections to forced vaccination mandates.”

The settlement stipulates that North Shore also change its unlawful “no religious accommodations” policy to make it consistent with the law, and to provide religious accommodations in every position across its numerous facilities.

Employees who were fired because of their religious refusal to take the Covid-19 vaccine will be eligible to be rehired, if they apply within 90 days of final settlement approval by the court. Plus, rehired employees will return to their previous level of seniority.

Anyone who lost a job due to their inability to comply with the mandate is eligible to receive $25,000, and any of the 13 lead plaintiffs involved in the suit are eligible for an additional $20,000, meaning they would receive $45,000 in total, according to Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel.

Employees who ultimately received the vaccine despite raising religious objections would be eligible for around $3,000 in compensation.

The NorthShore settlement agreement also sets aside $2 million for legal fees.

Read more here.

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7 thoughts on “Covid vaccine religious objectors win multi-million dollar lawsuit against hospital system”

  1. Last week, I had a job offer rescinded for not having received mRNA shots. I requested an accommodation due to sincerely held religious beliefs. The state agency determined my religious beliefs were sincerely held, but they did not engage in an interactive process to determine reasonable accommodations and just rescinded the job offer instead. They stated that I was a danger to myself and others, even though I have natural immunity having recovered from mild covid I got from a vaccinated coworker at my current job (which provided weekly testing as an accommodation).

    There were other red flags during the process. It’s clear that the state is denying most if not all religious exemption accommodations. I’m hopeful someday a class action lawsuit will be brought and the state and governor will get their comeuppance.

    1. Religious exemptions are NOT a request. No government, company or person has the power to determine whether or not you are religious. That’s between you and your Creator. You don’t “request,” you inform the entity of your sincerely held religious beliefs and then inquire as to their accommodations for you.

  2. I’m glad these employees won, but the compensation is meager. The lawyers get the most of it though. My guess $45,000 is a lot less than the salaries they lost.

  3. What about the rights of people who are not religious? One commenter claims a religious belief grants this right. Since when did religious people have more rights than non-religious people? That’s a major problem I have with the moral base of religious conservatives: it’s not a rational belief system but rather an authoritarian one. They trade one religion – a belief in the holiness of government and corporate authority (e.g., Fauci) – for another form of authoritarian belief. But of course, their authoritarian belief is fine because it’s right.

    1. I think any contientious objection should be respected. I think the difference is in the wording of the first amendment, which specifically mentions religion as something the state can do little with. People who are contientious objectors then use religion to escape the government’s fist. The founders could have been more broad in their language, but it is what it is. In terms of authority, the idea of having some moral objection to an activity entails a willingness or desire to submit to a higher authority. Objective morality does not generate from an individual human mind, but requires a higher authority. Subjective morality is less worthy of respect as it’s really just a cultural phenomenon and not something that endures across time and culture. One could more easily argue disrespecting an individual’s determination of right/wrong if doing so serves the greater good of the whole society, but one has a harder time arguing an absolute wrong should be brushed aside.

    2. If when you say “non-religious” you mean someone who does not believe in a supreme being, you should know that atheists also successfully have claimed their religious exemptions during this pandemic. If your comment is in response to Jon’s comment, well he is speaking from an accurate legal standpoint based on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which was enacted by the 88th Congress in which “Both chambers maintained a Democratic majority – including a filibuster-proof supermajority in the Senate – and with President Kennedy, the Democrats maintained an overall federal government trifecta.” So, I’m not sure why you are casting aspersions at “religious conservatives” (wikipedia) for claiming a religious exemption when it was enacted on behalf of ALL citizens by the most liberal body of government. Maybe you should be questioning why the current Democrat-led Congress and White House administration is acting in such an authoritarian way that they are denying the rights that were extended by the Civil Rights Act by making Federal mandates on ALL citizens regardless of their individual circumstances. Who are the true authoritarian’s now? It’s like there has been a political polar shift and those who were once conservative are now liberal and those who were once liberal are now conservative, isn’t it?

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