By Ivan Maltsev
Legal defense organizations support the efforts of religious leaders.
While the Biden administration is preparing a federal decree on vaccination against COVID-19, and more and more states and companies are making it mandatory to bring the end of the pandemic closer, an online movement has emerged in the country that helps people circumvent these requirements based on religious beliefs.
One of the movement leaders, the pastor of the Pentecostal Church, Shane Vaughn, publishes application forms on his website for those who want to get a waiver from vaccination for religious reasons. According to the site’s statistics, this questionnaire has already been downloaded 40,000 times.
The efforts of religious leaders are supported by legal defense organizations such as Liberty Counsel.
The organization said it sent more than 100 letters to various companies, including United Airlines and Tyson Foods, promising to go to court if employers improperly reject employee requests.
United spokeswoman Leslie Scott said the airline received the letter, but it did not affect its actions. Tyson does not comment on the letter.
According to United, about 2,000 of the 67,000 employees in the United States have requested a waiver from vaccination for religious or medical reasons. Tyson says that only a “small percentage” of the more than 100,000 employees have requested an exception for them for religious or medical reasons before the November 1 deadline for mandatory vaccination.
American employers are legally required to make reasonable changes to working conditions based on an employee’s religious beliefs, although they can request information to confirm whether these beliefs are sincere.
According to Roger King of the HR Policy Association, many employers want regulators to give them recommendations on how to handle such requests to prevent possible lawsuits.
According to a study by the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, only a few organized religions oppose vaccination. Still, in American law, the concept of religion is interpreted very broadly and extends to belief systems with a small number of adherents.