“This case should set a precedent for other employers who have violated the law by denying religious exemptions for their employees,” he added.
The first-of-its-kind class action settlement against a private employer in the case of Jane Doe 1, et al. v. Northshore University Healthsystem arose after the healthcare system denied hundreds of religious exemption requests for COVID vaccines. NorthShore will pay $10,337,500 to compensate the impacted healthcare employees who were denied exemptions.
The settlement includes various responses based on the treatment of individual employees. Settlement checks to those terminated or resigned because of their religious refusal of the COVID vaccine will receive approximately $24,000 each, according to the settlement.
Employees forced to accept a COVID vaccine against their religious beliefs to keep their jobs will receive approximately $3,700 each.
In addition, staff members terminated because of their religious refusal will be eligible for rehire if they apply within 90 days of the final settlement approved by the court and will retain their previous seniority level. Liberty Counsel noted that many previously terminated employees have already been rehired, and others will continue to be reinstated at NorthShore.