An Oklahoma judge has blocked the one of nation’s largest Catholic healthcare providers from firing employees whose religious vaccine objections have been denied in what the state’s attorney general is calling a “win for religious freedom.”
“This evening, the Tulsa District Court granted the State’s Application for Temporary Restraining Order in our case to keep Ascension Healthcare from carrying out its plan to fire employees who were unfairly denied religious exemptions from their COVID-19 vaccination mandate,” Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor said in a statement. ”
This is a win for religious freedom and our office will continue to fight against unlawful religious discrimination.”
“Healthcare heroes who sought a religious exemption on this and other sincerely held religious belief grounds have been flatly rejected by Ascension,” he also said. “In so doing, Ascension committed religious discrimination against Oklahoma healthcare heroes who oppose abortion.”
According to Tulsa World, O’Connor filed a lawsuit on November 12, the day that the healthcare group had required that all employees, vendors, and volunteers be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and the flu.
The state sought to block Ascension’s St. John Medical Center from suspending or firing employees who have not been vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus and whose medical exemptions for the company requirement had been denied.
The state’s emergency request will be heard on December 1, CBN News notes.
“We were pretty much told that if we were not compliant by the end of our work shift today we would be suspended,” one nurse told KTUL-TV.
Ascension’s attorneys have now moved the case to federal court.
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