Former and current NorthShore University Health System medical employees brought a class action lawsuit against NorthShore, alleging the company discriminated against them because they were denied religious exemptions from the company’s vaccine mandate.
NorthShore now has reached an agreement with its employees to end the saga. This is a huge victory for freedom. NorthShore agreed to pay over 500 former and current employees $10,337.500. NorthShore has been ordered to modify its policy in order to permit religious exemptions. Rehire all employees who were fired or forced out of work for refusing to get the vaccine. The Court has yet to approve the settlement. The Court will approve the settlement and employees can then apply to re-enter their positions at the same seniority.
The victory was cheered by the Liberty Counsel, which represented employees.
This is the “first-of-its-kind class action settlement against a private employer who unlawfully denied hundreds of religious exemption requests to COVID-19 shots,” Liberty Counsel said. Its founder and chairman, Mat Staver, said it “should be a wake-up call to every employer that did not accommodate or exempt employees who opposed the COVID shots for religious reasons. Let this case be a warning to employers that violated Title VII.”
Title VII of Civil Rights Act bans discrimination in employment based on race color, religion, sexual orientation, and national origin.
The number of valid, timely claimed employees will determine how much an employee is paid.
If all, or nearly all, affected employees file valid and timely claims, it’s estimated that those who were fired or forced to resign after their religious exemption requests were denied will receive approximately $25,000 each. People who received vaccinations under duress to maintain their job or against their religious convictions will each receive $3,000
Additional payment will be made to the thirteen employees that were lead plaintiffs, approximately $20,000 per.
Liberty Counsel’s VP of Legal Affairs and Chief Litigation Counsel Horatio G. Mihet said, “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.”
It came on the heels of a Los Angeles Superior Court decision in July that overturned a Los Angeles County Unified Schools District (LAUSD), COVID requirement for students. The judge found that the district was not within its jurisdiction and that the resolution approuving the mandate conflicts with state law. This excludes exemptions from personal beliefs.
Companies that have ever done or will do this again to employees should be concerned.