Saint Vincent Health Center in Erie, Pennsylvania had a policy for all employees to receive mandatory flu shots unless an employee can provide a medical or religious reason. But, some employees didn’t get an exception, even though they requested one for religious reasons. Learn what happened to the health center and the employees at FirstLiberty.org/Briefing.
No one really likes getting a flu shot. But, like it or not, for those in healthcare, it’s often required.
That was the policy of Saint Vincent Health Center in Erie, Pennsylvania: mandatory flu shots for all employees—unlessan employee can provide a medical or religious reason. The policy worked pretty well. If an employee had an exception, they were given a facemask, which they wore while interacting with patients. For those religious objectors, this was a great religious accommodation.
But, some employees didn’t get an exception, even though they requested one for religious reasons. Six of the employees who were denied an exception for religiousreasons were fired. But, the fourteen employees citing medicalreasons were not.
That’s a problem. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission stepped in on behalf of the fired employees and now the hospital has to pay $300,000 to compensate the employees for their lost jobs.
It’s really too bad it had to come to this. The hospital had a great policy and a reasonable accommodation for employees with a religious objection to the vaccine. But, they didn’t follow their own policy and ended up treating religious employees unfairly.
So, employers, let this be a good reminder: have a policy that accommodates the religious beliefs of your employees…and then make sure you follow it.
To learn how First Liberty is protecting religious liberty for all Americans, visit FirstLiberty.org.