UVA Health faces class-action lawsuit alleging religious discrimination

Attorneys have filed a class-action lawsuit against Charlottesville, Va.-based UVA Health on behalf of several hundred former employees and job applicants, accusing the health system of systematically refusing religious accommodations to the COVID-19 vaccine requirement.

The lawsuit, filed Dec. 14 in federal court, names six former employees as plaintiffs. A news release from attorneys states that former employees also are seeking a preliminary injunction.

The lawsuit alleges First Amendment violations, including establishing a list of churches believed to have official doctrines prohibiting vaccination and then exempting members of these religions from receiving the vaccine. Plaintiffs also allege that UVA Health then dismissed religious objections of employees who were members of other faiths.

"Therefore, for employees who were not on UVA Health's list of officially approved religions, UVA Health denied exemption requests en masse, in brief boilerplate rejection statements, and without individual consideration," the lawsuit states. "If such an employee was unwilling to violate his or her religious beliefs, UVA Health promptly fired him or her."

Becker's reached out to UVA Health for comment and will update this story if a comment is received.

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