Religious health care workers unwelcome – 'need not apply'

Religious health care workers unwelcome – 'need not apply'

Religious health care workers unwelcome – 'need not apply'

For a second time, CVS Health is being taken to court for firing a nurse practitioner over the issue of religious accommodation.

Gunna Kristofersdottir worked at a CVS Health location in Florida. Kristofersdottir says she was terminated after CVS Health revoked her longstanding religious accommodation because of her Catholic beliefs about hormonal contraceptives.

She is being represented in her complaint by First Liberty Institute, the same law firm representing another nurse practitioner (Robyn Strader) in a similar lawsuit against CVS Health in Texas.

Taub, Stephanie (First Liberty) Taub

"Our clients had religious accommodations that were in effect for years and years and that were working really well," says First Liberty senior counsel Stephanie Taub. "All of a sudden, CVS decided to take those away."

Taub adds the "vast majority" of both practitioners' work was helping people with all sorts of issues related to normal things people would go to a CVS clinic for – e.g., flu shots, school shots, etc. – before CVS pulled the accommodations.

"They said 'No, because you need a religious accommodation for a very small amount of your work, you are no longer allowed to work here,'" the attorney reports.

Law firms Boyden Gray & Associates and Lawson Huck Gonzalez, PLLC are also involved in these cases.

"We know that there are several nurse practitioners who are in a similar situation who are forced to choose between their faith and their job," says Taub. "They simply wanted to provide the best care that they could to their patients and still do so in a way that's consistent with their faith – but that wasn't allowed."

According to Taub, CVS is clearly sending the message: "Religious health care workers are not welcome and need not apply."

Editor's note: Image above is not a picture of either nurse practitioner mentioned in this article.