And he's filed a lawsuit on behalf of everyone subject to the Executive Order to prove it. Here's an interesting argument in the filing.
"The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (“RFRA”) prohibits the “Government [from] substantially burden[ing] a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability” unless the Government “demonstrates that application of the burden to the person—(1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and (2) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.”
Defendants, as state actors, imposed a burden on Plaintiffs’ exercise of religion. The burden imposed on Plaintiffs’ exercise of religious is substantial, in that the Vaccine Mandates inter alia effect Plaintiffs ability to: maintain employment, seek future employment, abide by the principles, beliefs, morals, values, or practices of their religion, ostracizes plaintiffs in society, discriminates against plaintiff because of their religion, and causes other economic and non-pecuniary injuries including the loss of promotional opportunity, benefits and insurance, and causes Plaintiffs to endure mental anguish and emotional distress concerning their ability to abide by their faith and further mental anguish and emotional distress related to fear of physical or mental injury that has been and continues to be directly and proximately caused by the vaccination."
Because Federal Contractors are acting as an arm of the Federal Government in enforcing an Executive Order, then they must adhere to Federal Law. You can read the filing here. Good Stuff.
Interested in the Religious Freedom Restoration Act? Read it HERE.
The EEOC defines Discrimination as:
If you have been granted a Religious Exemption and are being required to do testing, masking or additional procedures or processes that people who have not received an exemption, it's probably discrimination. That is another "term or condition of employment" if you will be terminated or denied otherwise. And you have a right to notify your employer and ask that the discrimination end.
The CDC guidelines that suggest additional requirements to unvaccinated employees don't take into account the Religious Exemption. Unless you've been subjected to regular testing before the mandate, testing may be a violation of your Constitutional Rights.
UPDATE: A member filed a civil rights complaint with their state Attorney General's office. He explained that only the unvaccinated were masked initially (medical discrimination) and that only those with religious exemptions are being required to do weekly testing (religious discrimination). He also detailed that those who chose not to list their vaccination status in a voluntary disclosure were listed as unvaccinated to their managers. The report was taken and is now being investigated.
If your sincerely held belief included issues with the toxicity of the COVID-19 shot, it's affect on your body and health, or if you included in your accommodation request to not be tested because of the carcinogenic chemicals, then you could push back to your HR dept and ask for testing to be eliminated based on your sincerely held belief. Doing so and documenting their response can be used in a complaint if necessary.
"I believe that the accommodation of (masking/testing/etc.) you propose is discriminatory in nature. Because of my religious beliefs I'm being asked to submit to an additional requirement as a condition of employment, which is the definition of discrimination. In addition ,it is clear from all the current data that vaccinated persons get COVID-19 and transmit COVID-19 at about the same or greater rates than the unvaccinated. I'm sure your own tracking of cases bear that up. So the unvaccinated pose no greater threat to the community than the vaccinated, and possibly less because many of us have actually had COVID-19 and have natural antibodies that are proving to be more robust. So the only reason to require that I (mask/test/etc) as opposed to a vaccinated person is because of my request for an accommodation. I surely hope that this is not also retaliation because of my sincerely belief concerning the COVID-19 shot.
Therefore I ask that you revise your accommodations to not discriminate against me due to my religious beliefs."
And if denied, file a complaint. We show you how HERE.
These questions are designed to be used in a complaint later. Many HR dept are refusing to answer these reasonable questions. That could also be evidence of not having an interactive process for accommodations as required by law. Remember, exhaust all administrative avenues. One employee has documentation from HR to 'quit asking questions'
Questions that I would like addressed before I submit to testing as an accommodation are:
In general, you must exhaust administrative avenues to resolve an issue before proceeding. Be sure you get a definitive 'NO" from your company in writing before filing a complaint as you'll need that as evidence.
Possible steps might include:
These steps need to be followed or any legal action could be stopped because you did not exhaust all available remedies.. Again, this is not legal advice, it is an attempt to help you understand your responsibilities in the eyes of the Courts.
HR approved this response to the testing accommodation from one employee at Raytheon. You could use as a template to put the company on notice that you know your rights and are only accepting under duress.
I am being discriminated against based on my perceived disability, which has created a hostile workplace environment. As a result of this discrimination and harassment, I have suffered ( list the adverse effects the mandate of vaccination, testing, masking etc. has caused such as: mental or emotional distress, anxiety, depression, increased stress, sleeplessness, and stress-induced health issues, co-workers making derogatory remarks, being denied workplace assignments etc.)
(Company) is currently engaged in perceived disability discrimination by materially treating unvaccinated employees worse than employees who admit to being vaccinated. (Company) perceives those individuals who are unvaccinated are suffering from a disability because they either will contract or currently have COVID-19, a communicable disease. Adverse actions include unjustified work restrictions that are not placed on the vaccinated employees and threatened employment actions such as termination for the unvaccinated. These adverse actions are done despite information demonstrating vaccinated individuals can still contract, carry, and transmit COVID-19, yet the unvaccinated are being materially discriminated against. (Company) is currently tracking the number of vaccinated individuals who get COVID-19, so you know that to be true. Yet still (Company) is forcing the unvaccinated to submit to weekly testing regardless of whether the unvaccinated individual is experiencing symptoms as a condition of (Company) approval of a Religious/Medical Exemption from the COVID-19 shot. Further, these unvaccinated individuals must submit to this weekly testing for an unspecified amount of time.
I am being treated materially worse than my vaccinated coworkers. It is being assumed by my employer, (Company), that I currently have or will contract COVID-19, a communicable disease. Case law has established that communicable diseases are protected disabilities. [School Bd. Of Nassau County, Fla. V. Arline, 480 U.S. 273, 289 (1987)]. I am materially being discriminated against for a perceived disability by being treated differently than my vaccinated coworkers.
Longstanding (Company) policy allows employees to take sick leave if exposed to a communicable disease that threatens others. I have been employed conducting my duties safely throughout the entire COVID-19 pandemic. Objective evidence shows that my individual duration of risk, likelihood of potential harm, and the imminence of potential harm are extremely low. Objective evidence shows that I conduct my duties to (Company) high standard regardless of my vaccination status and without weekly testing. (In addition I have robust antibodies greater than those who are vaccinated because I had COVID-19 and have recovered so I actually pose virtually no risk to my co-workers or myself.)
I,_________, under duress and coercion, consent to weekly testing at the company’s expense. I consent to charging ALL my time and costs affiliated with COVID-19 testing, waiting for the test results, reporting test results, or anything attributed to COVID-19 to my employer. I consent to maintaining social distancing and face mask measures.
Your employer is likely following these guidelines. BUT if you have an exemption 3 attorneys we spoke to say it's discriminatory. (See Below)
To reduce the risk of becoming infected with SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) including the Delta variant, and potentially spreading it to others, CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people:
From their FAQ regarding masking: After you are fully vaccinated for COVID-19, take these steps to protect yourself and others: