U.S. District Court Judge Jon D. Levy has expedited Liberty Counsel’s lawsuit and will hold a preliminary injunction hearing on Friday, September 10, regarding the more than 2,000 health care workers against Governor Janet Mills, health officials of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and five of Maine’s largest hospital systems regarding the state’s attempt to ignore federal law and remove religious exemptions and accommodations from unlawful COVID shot mandates for health care workers.
Judge Levy has expedited the case for the health care workers in advance of the September 17 deadline required for the Johnson and Johnson injections.
Governor Mills and state officials explicitly and illegally claim that federal law does not apply to health care workers in Maine and that no protections or considerations are given to their religious beliefs, and they must receive a COVID-19 injection by October 1, 2021. Gov. Mills has threatened to revoke the licenses of all health care employers who fail to mandate that all employees receive the COVID-19 injection.
All health care workers are protected by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act that does provide for religious exemptions and accommodations and mandates that employers provide them. Furthermore, COVID shots cannot be mandatory under Title VII. In general, employee vaccine religious exemption requests must be accommodated, where a reasonable accommodation exists without undue hardship to the employer, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Many people hold sincere religious beliefs against taking any vaccines, or taking those derived from aborted fetal cell lines, or taking those sold by companies that profit from the sale of vaccines and other products derived from abortion.
Further, all private health care employers and workers in Maine that are employed by the state also have protection for the exercise of their sincerely held religious beliefs under the First Amendment. These employees do not shed their constitutional rights upon entering government employment. Maine law provides a long-established common law right to all individuals to refuse unwanted medical care.
Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “Gov. Janet Mills’ illegal order is causing Maine’s health care workers to lose their jobs. Federal law protects all health care workers and those in public health care are also protected by the First Amendment. The health care workers are heroes. We look forward to this expedited hearing.”