Barnell Williams did not want to get a flu shot. She stated that she did not want to get one because it violated her religious beliefs. She said that her body was a Holy temple, and the Bible forbid her from getting the flu shot. Barnell has filed a lawsuit against the Lasata Care Center. She worked there from December 2015 to June 2017.
Barnell reluctantly got the flu shot after her request for a religious exemption was denied. The nursing released a statement saying that employees were allowed to get a religious exemption. However, they were required to bring a written letter from their clergy. People who did not get a flu shot had to wear a mask.
Barnell was not a member of a church at the time. She explained that to her employer. However, they did not give her another option. She was told that she had to get the flu shot, or she would lose her job. Barnell was upset after getting the flu shot and cried uncontrollably. She stated that the emotional distress caused her to miss work. She felt like she had violated the Bible by getting a flu shot.
Lasata has gotten rid of the letter requirement for a flu shot. The lawsuit alleges that the letter requirement discriminated against employees like Barnell. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination.
The Chicago District Office was the first organization to investigate the complaint. After that, the lawsuit was referred to the Justice Office. John Gore is an attorney who works for the Civil Rights Division. He stated that the employers are wrong for making people choose between getting the flu shot and keeping their jobs. John also stated that employees have to make sure that they do not create policies that discriminate against people based on their religious beliefs.