Michigan hospital will pay $75K to settle religious discrimination suit over flu shot

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Owosso, Mich.-based Memorial Healthcare will pay nearly $75,000 to settle a lawsuit claiming the hospital religiously discriminated against a job applicant, reports NBC affiliate WILX.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed the suit on behalf of Yvonne Bair. She claimed Memorial Healthcare declined to hire her for a medical transcription job because she refused to get a flu shot due to religious beliefs.

Memorial Healthcare allows employees who cannot get the flu shot for medical reasons to instead wear a mask. A judge ruled that the hospital should have given Ms. Bair the same option.

However, Memorial Healthcare said Ms. Bair never offered to wear a mask and denies that hospital leaders refused to let her wear one in place of the flu shot, according to court documents cited by WILX.

As part of the settlement, the hospital must pay Ms. Bair $34,418.34 in back pay, $20,000 in compensatory damages and $20,000 in punitive damages. Memorial Healthcare must also conduct religious discrimination training with hospital leaders and human resources employees, among other actions. 

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