Dozens of employees fired for refusing COVID-19 vaccine file complaint against Rady Children’s Hospital – .

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Dozens of employees fired for refusing COVID-19 vaccine file complaint against Rady Children’s Hospital – .


More than three dozen nurses and other employees at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego sued the medical center alleging they were wrongly fired for refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
The plaintiffs, who filed their lawsuit in San Diego Superior Court late last month, accused Rady Children’s Hospital of violating their religious freedoms, among other allegations, by issuing general dismissals rather than reviewing judiciously requests for religious exemptions.

“The general denial to these employees does not respond to any determination on the sincerity of the religious beliefs of these employees and does not demonstrate any undue hardship justifying the denial of accommodation,” indicates the legal complaint.

“The widespread denial of all employees requesting an exemption demonstrates an intentional disregard of the requests and clearly constitutes (a) a violation of these employees’ rights under state law,” he adds.

The plaintiffs, a set of 37 former employees who were all fired after refusing the COVID-19 vaccines offered to them, are not seeking reinstatement in their jobs. Instead, the lawsuit seeks lost wages and benefits as well as punitive damages.

These costs could reach millions of dollars.

Rady officials said on Friday they have a responsibility to protect patients, staff and others as best they can.

“Rady Children’s cares for a vulnerable patient population, many of whom do not have the opportunity to be vaccinated,” the nonprofit hospital said in a statement. “We believe it is our responsibility to take the necessary steps to help best protect the safety and well-being of the patients we serve.”

Hospital officials have said they normally withhold public comments on the lawsuit, but the case has sparked an exception to that policy.

“Although Rady Children has a policy of not commenting on pending legal cases, we are confident and stand by our decisions regarding unvaccinated staff,” the statement added from Rady.

For months, state and federal public health officials have urged people to get vaccinated against the novel coronavirus, which has killed nearly 800,000 Americans since March 2020 and continues to infect tens of thousands of people. people every day.

Many employers demand that workers be vaccinated, especially healthcare workers and others working in collective living spaces. Many warrants include some allowance for religious exemptions and other limited exemptions.

The complaint filed by former Rady employees accuses the hospital of summarily disbelieving complainants who say they oppose vaccines on religious grounds.

“The sincerity of an employee’s stated religious belief is generally not in dispute and is generally presumed or easily established,” the lawsuit said. “Employers are not and should not be responsible for deciding whether a person has religious beliefs for the ‘right reasons’.

“In fact, the law offers protection to sincere religious beliefs even when some members of the same religious organization, sect or denomination do not agree with the beliefs adopted by the individual,” the claim states.

Vaccine mandates have become political in recent months, with some companies and organizations insisting that their staff be vaccinated and others allowing people to undergo regular COVID testing.

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria and city council last week approved a mandate for all city employees, even as the Police Officers Association and others opposed the idea. About 700 of the city’s 1,900 sworn officers, 37%, were not vaccinated after the city’s deadline; of these, about 470 officers requested an exemption.

“The way out of this pandemic is through vaccines,” said Gloria, “and the city should lead by example”.

The complaint from former employees of Rady Children has been attributed to Judge Ronald Frazier. A hearing is scheduled for May 2022.

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