NorthShore Health Pays $10.3 Million to Settle COVID-19 Vaccine Lawsuit Over Religious Exemptions
The Northshore University Health System in Chicago has agreed to pay $10.3 million to settle claims brought by employees who were fired after refusing to get Covid-19 vaccines for religious reasons. The employees filed suit last year after NorthShore implemented a Covid-19 vaccine mandate (“jab or job”) but refused to offer a religious exemption. Approximately 523 employees were denied religious exemptions to the shots. Roughly 204 of those employees received the shots despite their religious beliefs just to keep their jobs, while the others refused the shots and were fired. As part of the settlement, NorthShore will rehire workers who were fired for refusing to get the shots and it will amend its vaccine mandate to include exemptions for sincerely held religious beliefs.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964, prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. In January 2022, the Supreme Court confirmed that employers, including the federal government, must offer medical or religious exemptions if they intend to mandate vaccines for their employees.