COLUMBUS, Ohio (LifeSiteNews) — A Christian hospital employee is suing her former employer for religious discrimination after losing her job for refusing to accept the COVID-19 vaccine.
Tina Moore filed a lawsuit against Nationwide Children’s Hospital (NCH) in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio on January 22, arguing that she was unjustly fired for objecting to the shots on the grounds of religious beliefs.
“Moore alleges that Defendant engaged in intentional discrimination against her when it failed to provide her with a reasonable accommodation because her sincerely held religious beliefs conflicted with a work requirement and instead terminated her,” the complaint states.
For more than 24 years, Moore worked as a surgical scheduler at the Columbus hospital. In August 2021, employees were notified of a requirement to “be at least partially vaccinated by February 14, 2022, and fully vaccinated by March 15, 2022, or have an approved religious or medical exemption by March 15, 2022.”
In February 2022, prior to the deadline to adhere to the first part of the mandate, Moore submitted all required paperwork to request a religious exemption. An email response from hospital administration informed her that she had failed to submit the proper form and her request was therefore denied. However, the plaintiff maintains she had properly completed all that was required of her to obtain an exemption.
“On or about March 10, 2022, Moore was informed via email from Stacy Smith, Lead Senior HR Business Partner at NCH, that: NCH determined Moore failed to provide sufficient information showing that her religious belief, practice, or observance prohibited her from receiving a COVID-19 vaccination; Moore was being placed on unpaid leave of absence effective immediately; and if Moore was not vaccinated before March 15, 2022, she would be moved to contingent status and her position would be posted and filled.”
Although Moore asked for clarification on her alleged failed cooperation and offered to provide additional information supporting her case, NCH neither provided clarification nor responded to her offer for further details. She was also willing to continue regular COVID testing and masking as an unvaccinated employee, which she had been required to do prior to the vaccine mandate.
The complaint added that “Moore’s coworkers also submitted religious exemption and accommodation requests, which NCH approved,” arguing that the hospital was “favoring” religious beliefs which were not held by Moore.
She obeyed unjust regulations once placed on restricted employment and later accepted termination on April 15 after refusing to cave to the mandate.
Through the lawsuit, Moore is seeking “a jury trial on all issues so triable” and “compensatory damages including lost wages, past and future lost income, physical pain, emotional distress, [and] humiliation.” Additionally, reinstatement, fringe benefits, and attorney’s fees are included in the list of requests to be granted, should Moore win the case.
Moore also hopes to “ensure the conduct of Defendant as demonstrated herein does not continue and to punish Defendant for inflicting the harm Plaintiff has suffered and making her choose between her faith and her job.”
Since the rollout of the experimental COVID vaccines, employers mandating the shots have repeatedly rejected applications for religious exemptions. In July 2022, roughly 18 months after the shots were released for public use, three employees filed a lawsuit against the Walt Disney Company. The group argued that the company fired them for refusing abortion-tainted vaccines due to religious beliefs.
Following months of controversy, a federal court ruled that the United States Air Force could not fire employees whose religious beliefs prevent them from accepting the shots. In December, six former employees of the University of Virginia health system sued the institution, arguing that they were denied religious exemptions from the vaccine mandate because their beliefs were not included on a list of “favored religions.”