OPINION | Views expressed in this article reflect the author's opinion.
via CBS News

A hospital maintenance worker was fired for requesting a religious exemption to a flu vaccination policy, leading to a $45,000 payout and a lawsuit for religious discrimination.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission found that the hospital’s conduct violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, requiring employers to accommodate employees’ religious beliefs.

“It is the responsibility of an employer to accommodate its employees’ sincerely held religious beliefs,” regional attorney for the EEOC’s Atlanta District Office Marcus G. Keegan stated. (Trending: Pro Sport Announces Shock Decision On Transgender Athletes)

“Unless doing so would pose an undue hardship, an employer may not deny requested religious accommodations, let alone revoke those previously granted without issue.”

As part of the settlement, the hospital will change its exemption procedures and provide training on religious accommodation rights.

The case highlights the tension between immunization mandates and religious freedom, suggesting that financial consequences may encourage companies to consider employees’ beliefs before mandating vaccines.

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