This article about the settlement of a lawsuit and COVID-19 vaccine religious exemptions was written by Dorit Rubinstein Reiss, Professor of Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law (San Francisco, CA), who is a frequent contributor to this and many other blogs, providing in-depth, and intellectually stimulating, articles about vaccines, medical issues, social policy, and the law.
Professor Reiss writes extensively in law journals about vaccination’s social and legal policies. Additionally, Reiss is also a member of the Parent Advisory Board of Voices for Vaccines, a parent-led organization that supports and advocates for on-time vaccination and the reduction of vaccine-preventable diseases. She is also a member of the Vaccines Working Group on Ethics and Policy.
Headlines about a settlement between healthcare workers and their employer related to COVID-19 vaccine religious exemptions led people to ask what is the relevance of that settlement. This post explains this settlement and puts the issue in context.
Three points need to be made:
- First, this is not the first time an employer settled a claim for denial of religious exemption.
- Second, sometimes the settlement is the result of an employer making mistakes in handling religious exemptions and having a really bad case, and settling is the right thing.
- Third, in legal terms, the settlement has no relevance to any other case. In practical terms, though, it can be used to put pressure on other employers, even when those employers are on legally solid ground.