Today, Federal Judge John F. Kness gave his final approval for the class action settlement in the case of Jane Doe 1, et al. v. Northshore University Healthsystem. The settlement benefits over 500 current and former healthcare workers. These workers faced an unlawful discrimination and were denied religious exemptions for the COVID shot mandate.
The judge verbally approved the final decision today and will officially enter the judgment within the next week.
The Liberty Counsel has reached a settlement in a groundbreaking class action lawsuit against a private employer who illegally denied hundreds of requests for religious exemptions from the COVID-19 vaccine. The healthcare workers who were subjected to religious discrimination and faced consequences for their beliefs against taking a vaccine associated with aborted fetal cells will receive compensation of $10,337,500 from NorthShore.
The court has given the final approval, and settlement checks will be sent out within 60 days. Those who were terminated or quit their jobs due to their religious refusal of a COVID vaccine will receive about $24,000 each. Those who were compelled to receive a COVID vaccine against their religious beliefs to maintain their employment will receive around $3,700 each. Employees who were fired because they refused the COVID vaccine due to religious beliefs can apply for rehire within 90 days after the court approves the final settlement. They will retain their previous seniority level. Some previously terminated employees have already been rehired and more will be reinstated at NorthShore.
NorthShore has changed its “no religious accommodations” policy to comply with the law and now offers religious accommodations in all positions across its facilities. Approved unvaccinated employees with religious exemptions can now work in any position at NorthShore without restrictions.
Harry Mihet, the Chief Litigation Counsel and Vice President of Legal Affairs at Liberty Counsel, expressed his satisfaction with the court's approval of the classwide settlement for healthcare workers who were denied religious exemptions from the COVID vaccine mandate. He believes that this case should serve as a precedent for other employers who have also denied religious exemptions. The approval came after many months of hard work and long hours.