Liberty Counsel’s clients are slated to be suspended today. However, Liberty Counsel is prepared to take legal action if this health care system does not accommodate their sincerely held religious beliefs that prohibit them from getting the COVID shots.
When Mercy Health officials received religious accommodation requests for their “Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccine Policy,” they have insisted on “more information” and “more explanation” of the employee’s religious beliefs although the original religious exemption provided ample explanation. In fact, many times, Mercy has demanded more “explanation” which for some clients seemed as if nothing was sufficient to satisfy Mercy’s “Review Committee.”
Mercy Health states it “was founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1986.” Yet despite this religious foundation, Mercy does not require its employees to adhere to the Catholic faith. However, ironically the health care workers that Liberty Counsel represents all included as grounds for their religious exemption requests their sincerely held religious beliefs against abortion and the connection of all available COVID injections to aborted fetal cell lines. In fact, all three of the currently available COVID injections are produced by, derived from, manufactured with, tested on, developed with, or otherwise connected to or “associated” with aborted fetal cell lines. These employees have sincerely held religious beliefs that life is sacred from the moment of conception and abortion is the murder of an innocent human in violation of Scripture.
Mercy Health is in violation of federal and state law by discriminating against its employees based on their sincerely held religious beliefs and it has no legal authority to dictate what an employee’s religion is or ought to be, or to be the arbiter of the validity or reasonableness of any employee’s religious beliefs. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act clearly requires that every employer with over 15 employees must provide religious accommodations “unless an employer demonstrates that he is unable to reasonably accommodate an employee’s or prospective employee’s religious observance or practice without undue hardship.” For months, health care employees have worked every day with reasonable accommodations and history underscores that the state and the employers can continue to provide these.
Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “Mercy Health must not only practice ‘mercy’ but must honor the religious exemptions of its employees and provide reasonable accommodations. Mercy Hospital’s health care heroes worked through the pandemic when many people were sheltered at home. Since the first COVID shot became available in December 2020, Mercy Hospital has not mandated the shots. The Delta variant has been known for months. Nothing has changed except an arbitrary policy of certain hospital administrators. The past is prologue. For months, Mercy Hospital has demonstrated that it can and must make reasonable accommodation for these healthcare heroes. Mercy Health is violating both state and federal law and we will defend the rights and free choice of these health care heroes.”
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