Illinois health care workers who were impacted by the COVID - 19 vaccine mandate will get a $10 million settlement after filing a lawsuit challenging the rule.
Let this case be a warning to employers that violated Title VII, said Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, the group behind the lawsuit. It is gratifying to know that this first class-wide COVID settlement protects healthcare workers. The case centers around workers at NorthShore University HealthSystem, who filed a lawsuit in October 2021 claiming their employer illegally refused to grant religious exemptions to a COVID 19 vaccine mandate.
The settlement approved in the Illinois Northern District Court will result in 473 employees of the system being able to receive compensation for being denied a religious exemption to the vaccine mandate, with all of those who were fired because of the rules being eligible for $25,000. The 13 plaintiffs in the suit will be eligible for additional $20,000, while those who complied with the mandate to keep their jobs despite religious objections will be eligible for $3,000.
The settlement was approved by U.S. District Judge John Kness, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump, and appeared to side with Liberty Council's claim that the mandate violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
Any person fired because of their refusal to get the jab will be eligible for reemployment in the system.
Liberty Counsel V. President of Legal Affairs Horatio Mihet said in a statement that the settlement should serve as a strong warning to employers across the nation that they cannot refuse to accommodate those with sincere religious objections to forced vaccination mandates. Staver said his group was not just limiting the battle over mandates for the Illinois health care workers, but he told the Washington Examiner that Liberty Counsel is working for private sector employees in industries such as airlines and other health care systems.
He said we had thousands of employees in the country. Many of them are facing the same job mandate as it is in NorthShore.