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Christians Fired Over COVID-19 Vaccine Winning Religious Liberty Lawsuits

During the recent pandemic, countless Christian employees were fired for refusing to receive the COVID-19 vaccine because of moral objections. Many businesses refused to grant religious accommodations to their employees in violation of state and federal law. Now, those medical companies are facing the ramifications with plaintiffs receiving big settlements amounting to millions of dollars in damages.

One example of this is California nurse Marcia Stahovich, who recently finalized her settlement agreement with Sharp HealthCare and Sharp Memorial Hospital for $175,000 over her civil rights lawsuit filed in March 2024, with the help of the National Center for Law & Policy (NCLP).

In early 2022, Stahovich was forced onto unpaid administrative leave and later terminated after faithfully serving in her position for more than 30 years because she refused to receive any vaccine boosters based on her deeply held religious beliefs. 

Well-established federal and state laws require employers to reasonably accommodate the sincere religious objections of employees to employer work requirements—here, the government vaccine booster mandates—unless doing so imposes an undue hardship (significant burden or expense) on the employer,” Stahovich’s lawyer Dean Broyles, NCLP President, explained in a press release.

Many individuals refused to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and boosters not only because of safety concerns over how quickly the vaccine was approved, but also due to moral objections regarding how the vaccine was developed. Such was the case for Stahovich.  

Marcia’s sincerely held religious beliefs prohibited her from taking COVID-19 vaccine boosters developed with cell lines from aborted babies because her body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and she did not want to introduce unknown or harmful materials, among other biblical objections,” her lawyers said.

Sharp’s flawed and discriminatory approach to religious accommodation led to the wrongful termination of hundreds of its best employees during the pandemic. Sharp was not alone in its unfair treatment of Christians during the pandemic – the National Center for Law & Policy has successfully advocated for clients against Kaiser Permanente, NBC Universal, FM Global Insurance, and the County of San Diego.

“It’s past time these organizations were held accountable for their discriminatory actions against Christians during the pandemic,” said California Family Council Vice President Greg Burt. “Businesses are obligated to do their best to accommodate the religious beliefs of those working for them. They don’t get to violate the Constitution just because there is a pandemic. We’re glad these Christians are standing up for themselves and their faith and are finally receiving the compensation they deserve.”

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