A $10 million settlement has been announced by Liberty Counsel, which brought a lawsuit against NorthShore University HealthSystem on behalf of workers who were forced during the pandemic to take the experimental COVID-19 shots.
Officials with the legal team said NorthShore will pay $10,337,500 “to compensate these health care employees who were victims of religious discrimination, and who were punished for their religious beliefs against taking an injection associated with aborted fetal cells.”
The class action case was on behalf of more than 500 current and former NorthShore workers.
The settlement has been filed in federal court in Illinois, and still must be approved by the court.
“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 legal team announced.
“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,” Liberty Counsel revealed.
Horatio G. Mihet, a Liberty Counsel official, said, “We are very pleased with the historic, $10 million settlement achieved in our class action lawsuit against NorthShore University HealthSystem. The drastic policy change and substantial monetary relief required by the settlement will bring a strong measure of justice to NorthShore’s employees who were callously forced to choose between their conscience and their jobs. This settlement should also 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.”
Liberty Counsel founder Mat Staver noted, “This classwide settlement providing compensation and the opportunity to return to work is the first of its kind in the nation involving COVID shot mandates. This settlement should be a wake-up call to every employer that did not accommodate or exempt employees who opposed the COVID shots for religious reasons. Let this case be a warning to employers that violated Title VII. It is especially significant and gratifying that this first classwide COVID settlement protects health care workers. Health care workers are heroes who daily give their lives to protect and treat their patients. They are needed now more than ever.”
Another provision of the agreement means that those fired from their jobs will be eligible for rehire if they re-apply.
Those who were fired for not taking the shots will get about $25,000 each, and workers who were forced to take the shots to keep their jobs will get about $3,000 each. The 13 workers who were lead plaintiffs will get an additional payment of about $20,000.
The legal team’s costs are being paid with 20% of the settlement.