Liberty Counsel has announced a “historic” $10.3 million settlement for health care workers who were fired for not getting a COVID vaccination.
According to CBN News, NorthShore University Health System was sued by more than 500 current and former healthcare workers who say they were unlawfully discriminated against and denied religious exemptions from the hospital’s vaccine mandate.
The settlement was filed Friday in the Northern District Court of Illinois.
“We are very pleased with the historic, $10 million settlement achieved in our class action lawsuit against NorthShore University HealthSystem,” said Liberty Counsel Vice President of Legal Affairs and Chief Litigation Counsel Horatio G. Mihet. “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.”
NorthShore will pay out $10,337,500 to the hundreds of health care employees in the suit. The system must also change its “no religious accommodations” policy so unvaccinated employees may be approved for religious exemptions.
“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,” Mihet said.
Experts estimate that employees who were terminated or resigned because of their religious refusal of a vaccine will receive about $25,000 each, and employees who were forced to get a COVID-19 shot against their religious beliefs in order to keep their jobs will receive about $3,000 each.
Thirteen health care workers who are the lead plaintiffs in the lawsuit will also receive another payment of about $20,000 each for their role in bringing the lawsuit to court.
“This classwide settlement providing compensation and the opportunity to return to work is the first of its kind in the nation involving COVID shot mandates,” said Mat Staver, the founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel.
“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.”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Morsa Images
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.