Healthcare workers who were unlawfully discriminated against and denied religious exemptions from the COVID shot mandate have settled America’s first classwide lawsuit for more than $10.3 million.
The class action settlement against NorthShore University HealthSystem is on behalf of more than 500 current and former healthcare workers who were subject to the unlawful vaccinate mandate.
The agreed-upon settlement was filed today in the federal Northern District Court of Illinois.
The Defender reports: As a result of the settlement, NorthShore will pay $10,337,500 to compensate these healthcare employees who were victims of religious discrimination, and who were punished for their religious beliefs against taking an injection associated with aborted fetal cells.
This is a historic, first-of-its-kind class action settlement against a private employer who unlawfully denied hundreds of religious exemption requests to COVID-19 shots.
The settlement must be approved by the federal District Court.
Employees of NorthShore who were denied religious exemptions will receive notice of the settlement, and will have an opportunity to comment, object, request to opt out or submit a claim form for payment out of the settlement fund, all in accordance with deadlines that will be set by the court.
As part of the settlement agreement, NorthShore will also change its unlawful “no religious accommodations” policy to make it consistent with the law, and to provide religious accommodations in every position across its numerous facilities.
No position in any NorthShore facility will be considered off limits to unvaccinated employees with approved religious exemptions.
In addition, employees who were terminated because of their religious refusal of the COVID shots will be eligible for rehire if they apply within 90 days of the final settlement approved by the court, and they will retain their previous seniority level.