Saint Vincent Hospital sued for firing six employees who refused flu shots

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is accusing Erie, Pa.-based Saint Vincent Hospital of religious discrimination, reports Erie Times-News.

The commission filed a lawsuit Thursday in U.S. District Court in Erie, alleging Saint Vincent fired six employees who refused to get flu shots due to their religious beliefs, according to the article. At the same time, the group contends, the hospital granted medical exemptions to 14 other employees in late 2013 and early 2014, according to the article.

The commission claims the hospital violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Saint Vincent officials said in a statement obtained by Erie Times-News that the hospital's "mandatory flu vaccination policy allows employees to apply for an exemption to the policy based upon religious beliefs or health concerns. Requests for exemption are always given careful and appropriate consideration. We respectfully disagree with the (commission's) position and characterization of how the employee claims outlined in this lawsuit were handled by the hospital."

According to the report, the commission previously attempted to reach a settlement with Saint Vincent, which is now part of Pittsburgh-based Allegheny Health Network.


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