Vaccine Mandate Controversy: Chicago Health System to Pay $10 Million to Workers in Settlement, A lawsuit that was launched by medical personnel against the mandatory use of a coronavirus vaccine by an Illinois university system has resulted in the first settlement of its kind to be achieved anywhere in the country.
As part of the conditions of the settlement, the NorthShore University HealthSystem in Chicago has agreed to pay a total of $10,337,500 to more than 500 current and former employees who worked in the healthcare industry. It is also rehiring previous employees who were either terminated or forced to resign because their petitions for religious exemptions were denied. The company is modifying its policy to accept religious exemption requests.
Employees of NorthShore, who were represented in court by Liberty Counsel, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting religious freedom, filed a lawsuit alleging they were discriminated against by the company because they were not granted religious exemptions from the company’s vaccine mandate. On Friday, the settlement was submitted to the federal court located in the Northern District of Illinois.
The statement was made by Liberty Counsel in a press release, and it was said that the settlement needs to be approved by the federal District Court.
The organization also stated that workers who had their requests for religious exemptions turned down will be informed about the settlement and given the opportunity to comment on it, protest it, ask to opt-out of it, or submit a claim form for reimbursement from the fund it established.
According to the statement made by Liberty Counsel, “NorthShore will also amend its unlawful ‘no religious accommodations’ policy in order to make it compatible with the law, and will give religious accommodations in every position across all of its various facilities.”
In response to the settlement, Mat Staver, the Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel stated that it should serve as “a wake-up message to every business that did not accommodate or exempt employees who opposed the COVID shots for religious grounds.”
“Let this case serve as a lesson to employers who have violated Title VII,” the judge ruled. When he concluded, he said, “It is especially significant and satisfying that this first classwide COVID settlement protects health care workers.”
The legal advocacy group Liberty Counsel referred to the agreement as a “HISTORIC WIN FOR MEDICAL FREEDOM!” in a message that it published on social media on Friday.
Despite a requirement placed on service members by the Biden administration, nearly 260,000 members of the United States armed forces have not received all of their vaccinations. According to a report by Breitbart News on July 13, many people are now facing the risk of being released.
Doe v. NorthShore University HealthSystem is the name of the case being heard in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois as case number 1:21-cv-83.