Over 500 hospital workers for Chicago’s NorthShore University HealthSystem who were terminated after refusing the Covid jab based on religious objections were awarded a $10.3 million settlement.
The group litigating the case, the Liberty Counsel, on Friday announced it secured the settlement against NorthShore for “employees who were victims of discrimination, and who were punished for their religious beliefs against taking an injection associated with aborted fetal cells.”
During the pandemic, NorthShore reportedly instituted a “no religious accommodations” policy where they “unlawfully denied hundreds of religious exemption requests to COVID-19 shots.”
In accordance with the settlement, NorthShore must revise its policies and allow for religious exemptions.
“No position in any NorthShore facility will be considered off limits to unvaccinated employees with approved religious exemptions,” the Liberty Counsel wrote in a press release.
Workers who filed religious exemptions and were fired, or resigned, will receive roughly $25,000 each, while workers who bent to pressure and took the jab “against their religious beliefs to keep their jobs” will get $3,000 each.
Additionally, NorthShore is required to rehire workers who were terminated for refusing the vaccine on religious grounds “if they apply within 90 days of final settlement approval by the court, and they will retain their previous seniority level.”
Liberty Counsel chairman and founder Mat Staver declared the “first of its kind” settlement a victory for religious freedom and the American Constitution.
“This settlement should be a wake-up call to every employer that did not accommodate or exempt employees who opposed the COVID shots for religious reasons,” Staver said. “Let this case be a warning to employers that violated Title VII. It is especially significant and gratifying that this first classwide COVID settlement protects health care workers. Health care workers are heroes who daily give their lives to protect and treat their patients. They are needed now more than ever.”
The issue of aborted fetal cell lines being used to develop Covid vaccines was also presented in a lawsuit against the Biden administration filed last November by over 30 members of the US Navy, who also claimed they unconstitutionally had their religious objections denied.
In that case, the plaintiffs’ lawsuit argued:
“Plaintiffs believe that receiving a Covid-19 vaccine that was tested, developed, or produced using aborted fetal cell lines would force them to violate their sincerely held religious beliefs by causing them to participate in the abortion enterprise, which they believe to be immoral and highly offensive to God.”