Brad Dacus, an attorney who leads the Pacific Justice Institute, says PJI is representing six officers fired from the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission, or JJC, after they requested a religious exemption but were denied one. The lawsuit contends as many as 2,000 corrections officers, who oversaw adult prisoners, sought a religious exemption for the controversial jab and were granted one.
“This inconsistent treatment of JJC officers is completely illogical,” Dacus argues, “since the JJC houses juveniles who are at much lower risk from COVID-19 than the adult offenders housed by the DOC.”
An executive order from Gov. Phil Murphy required the controversial shot for state employees. The state attorney general’s office reviewed and denied the six religious exemption requests.
PJI also alleges medical exemptions were permitted among other juvenile corrections officers, too, meaning the six fired officers are the victims of retaliation because of their religious objections.
Among the six plaintiffs represented by PJI, one of them had been employed for 22 years, and two more were employed for 17 years. All three will lose their state pension if their firings are not overturned.
The case is currently on appeal to the New Jersey Civil Service Commission after a state judge upheld the terminations in late December.