Court decision: tens of thousands of dollars in compensation will be paid to workers fired for refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19
Illinois healthcare workers who were fired or otherwise harmed by their hospitals' COVID-19 vaccination requirements will receive $10 million in compensation after filing a lawsuit challenging the rule, reports FOXBusiness.
“Let this case be a warning to employers who have violated Title VII,” said Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, the group behind the lawsuit. "It's especially important and encouraging that this is the first class-wide settlement on COVID-related issues."
The case centers around NorthShore University HealthSystem employees who filed a lawsuit in October 2021 alleging that their employer illegally refused to provide any religious exemptions to mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations.
The settlement, approved in the Northern District Court of Illinois, would result in 473 employees of the system becoming eligible for compensation for denial of mandatory vaccination exemptions for religious reasons, with anyone fired as a result being entitled to $25. lawsuit will be eligible for an additional $000, and those who meet the requirement to keep their jobs despite religious objections will be eligible for $13.
U.S. District Judge John Kness, appointed by Donald Trump, approved the settlement and appeared to uphold the Civil Rights Act's contention that the mandate violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
Anyone who has been fired for refusing to vaccinate will also be eligible for re-employment in the system.
Liberty Counsel vice president of legal affairs Horatio Michet said the settlement should "serve a strong warning to employers across the country that they cannot fire those who sincerely object to forced vaccinations on religious grounds."
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Staver said his group, Liberty Counsel, not only supports the fight for the rights of Illinois healthcare workers, but also works for private sector employees in industries such as airlines and other healthcare systems.
“We work with thousands of employees across the country,” he said. “Many of them are facing the same problem as NorthShore.”
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