AKRON, Ohio (WJW) – Akron Children’s Hospital is being taken to court over the hospital’s vaccine mandate.

Dozens of workers who were fired for refusing to get the COVID shot have filed a class action lawsuit against the medical center.

“We are representing the Akron Children’s employees who asked for a religious exemption from the COVID vaccine requirement,” said attorney Warner Mendenhall.

Mendenhall said a federal class action lawsuit was filed against Akron Children’s Hospital over the hospital’s vaccine mandate firings.

“Initially, we had about 200 people who were objecting. Many of them have moved on, got another job. We have around 60 to 70 remaining in the group,” said Mendenhall.

Mendenhall said the lawsuit has two lead plaintiffs, a surgical technologist and front desk worker, who were both fired at the end of January.

“Both of them have natural immunity and both of them are asking for religious exemptions under the First Amendment,” said Mendenhall.

According to the lawsuit, both men were denied “reasonable accommodations” due to their Christian faith and were forced “to choose between violating their sincerely held religious beliefs or losing their jobs.”

Akron Children’s required all employees to get their first shot by January 11.

After that, court documents said those not in compliance were suspended and later fired at the end of February.

Akron Children’s released a statement saying, “The Hospital is confident that our procedures for reviewing exemption requests from our COVID vaccination requirement are appropriate and legal. A vaccinated work force is the best protection we can offer our patients, many of whom are vulnerable and not eligible for
vaccination, and is the best way to move beyond the pandemic.”

Mendenhall said he anticipates the hospital will appeal.