At issue is the university's refusal to provide religious accommodations for a policy requiring all employees to receive a COVID shot.
In 2021, UVA Health implemented a required COVID-19 vaccination policy for its employees, while also establishing a list of religious faiths that could choose to be exempt. According to the Founding Freedoms Law Center's (FFLC) lawsuit, members of "favored faith" were automatically exempted, and any employee who did not profess membership in a "favored faith" were denied exemptions and fired.
FFLC's clients are among those who were denied.
"Many people experienced great hardship during the pandemic," notes Victoria Cobb, president of The Family Foundation. "But in this particular case, we have UVA Health Systems actually costing people their jobs because they would not accept their faith. So when we see systematic discrimination from a health system that is run by our government, we feel it is absolutely necessary to come to bat to help them understand that this is unacceptable."
The six plaintiffs also filed a motion for a preliminary injunction, asking the court to order UVA to immediately stop its "discriminatory policies and practices."
The Founding Freedoms Law Center is the legal arm of The Family Foundation.