Aaron Siri, who’s been doing yeoman’s work on the military mandates, had a big win Thursday when his newly-certified class received a preliminary injunction from the federal district court in Ohio. The Court ordered the Air Force, Space Force, Air National Guard, and the related academies not to take any disciplinary action against any service member who refuses the jabs on religious grounds.
Judge McFarland appeared to agree that the Air Force has been trampling on service members’ religious liberties. He wrote, “due to the systematic nature of what the Court views as violations of Airmen’s constitutional rights to practice their religions as they please, the Court is well within its bounds to extend the existing preliminary injunction to all Class Members.”
That’s not all. Mat Staver and Liberty Counsel of Orlando, another civil rights powerhouse, settled another class-action vaccine case with a private employer who refused to recognize religious exemptions for $10.2 million dollars yesterday.
According to a statement on Liberty’s website, Staver sued NorthShore University HealthSystem “on behalf of more than 500 current and former health care workers who were unlawfully discriminated against and denied religious exemptions from the covid shot mandate.”
Lol. Mat always calls them the covid “shots.”
Anyway, assuming the Court approves the settlement, Liberty will get about $2M, or 20% — a VERY reasonable contingency fee — and each terminated employee will get $25,000. The statement estimates that even employees who weren’t terminated, but who were coerced to take the shot, will each get $3,000.
The figures aren’t the important thing.
We’ve been waiting for a win like this for two years. What’s important is that, to the legal community, this case is like discovering a new legal continent. Law firms that have been sitting on the sidelines because “nobody can win vaccine cases and make money” will smell the sweet scent of cash and a flotilla of legal ships will set sail for the new world.
Private employers who decided to “play doctor” with their employees and force them to take shots will likely be paying through the nose for years and years and years. As we predicted over a year ago when all this madness started, it’s going to be bigger than the tobacco litigation.
I’ll also add that I recently spoke to one of our allied attorneys who said she expects to receive her first EEOC letter suggesting that after the agency’s investigation, it appears “likely” that the employer illegally discriminated against the unjabbed employee by treating them as disabled, by requiring them to wear masks and take other actions not required of vaccinated employees.
There is a small but well-developed set of case law holding that employers can’t just assume that a healthy employee is sick simply because they are in some at-risk category. Consider the case of an employer treating a healthy gay person as having AIDS and requiring them to work from home or something. That’s not fair. It turns out that kind of differential treatment violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Lawyers are now arguing that employers who discriminated against healthy unvaccinated employees by requiring masks or segregating them violated their ADA rights by assuming they were disabled.
Assuming this works, employers may have liability even though they accepted religious exemptions, because they discriminated somehow against the employees who invoked their religious exemptions to the jabs.
Get ready! The legal gold rush may be starting. Too bad so many employers trusted that the federal government would have small businesses’ back. Not so much.