Attention Healthcare Workers! Your employer is guilty of discrimination when they force you to vaccinate against your religious and/or moral conscience. They are guilty of discrimination when they force you to wear a mask. While the federal government doesn't have the authority to override the state's vaccine mandates, it can enforce the right to freedom of religion or moral conscience for those individuals who are against vaccines. There are several opportunities for employees to protect their rights and their employment in the healthcare field.
Religious conscience is tied to a religious tenet or belief. Moral conscience is similar to a religious exemption but goes further and is more like a personal belief exemption and doesn't rely on a religious tenet.
- Does the ambiguity of the new HHS Department rules allow for an employee complaint who is facing discrimination due to their religious or consciousness belief against vaccination?
- What if I file a complaint with HHS and they deny looking at it? Do I lose access to other means of legal action?
- Are there other opportunities to file complaints of civil rights violations in order to preserve employment without forced vaccination?
- Can a Hospital or Clinic deny a patient access to care? What is the resource for families if they do so?
Complaints filed at the HHS Conscience and Religious Freedom Division
What is this department and how can it help employees?
This will be investigated by the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division of the Health and Human Services Department established in January 2018 by the Trump Administration. This department provides oversight to all entities that receive HHS funding to ensure they are not violating religious/moral conscience rights.
Federal statutes protect health care provider conscience rights and prohibit recipients of certain federal funds from discriminating against health care providers who refuse to participate in these services based on moral objections or religious beliefs.
What is the consequence to the employer who participates in moral/religious discrimination?
An entity receiving federal funding through HHS has the potential of losing the federal funding if they violate an individual’s right for religious or moral conscience. It appears that the rules updated November 2018 do NOT exclude vaccinations.
This could be an opening to ensure that all vaccine coercion at a state level is stopped from a federal level.
How can you know if your employer is receiving federal funds?
There are very few organizations that do NOT receive federal from under the umbrella of programs from HHS.
Has Your Conscience or Religious Freedom Been Violated?
Complaints filed earlier this year are currently in review. It is critical that all those who have experienced discrimination file a complaint.
We want to flood the system - with this legitimate discrimination issue - there are people being discriminated across the US. You have the right and responsibility to file a complaint- THIS is how we are going to ensure a religious exemption/moral conscience exemption are in place for every person.
Want some support? Have some questions? Visit our follow up article
A Mask is a Discrimination. Can You File a Complaint?
Is a mask a HIPPA Violation? A Civil Rights Violation?
We will hear from vaccine exemption advocate Alan Phillips JD as he clears up the confusion on forced flu mask policies.
Those entities that have an exemption policy and yet force only individuals who are unvaccinated to wear a mask - could this still fall under the HHS discrimination complaint? It is discrimination. In fact, lawsuits have been won on this very point, as it is singling out a specific group of individuals based on their religious or philosophical beliefs.
Christian Hilderbrand of a Voice for Choice Advocacy helped to clarify this issue as its 'a fine line' complaint to HHS.
"While a complaint can be made that an employee doesn't have a religious/conscious exemption for vaccination there is a fine line about being forced to wear a mask. With an exemption in place, that could be like saying "my employer is making me wear pink scrubs."
HFI suggests that this is a HIPAA violation since the nurses vaccination status is being broadcast by his/her specific uniform differences. We encourage all to file a complaint and help bring awareness to the problem.
HFI's suggestion, file a complaint with HHS and a lawsuit in your local court.
Here's some information on a case that has been won:
The arbitration judgment:
Vaccine requirements are put in place by each state. Most universities, colleges, schools, and hospitals do have vaccine requirements while most provide religious or philosophical exemptions. Those exemptions can be hard to find unless a parent or employee looks hard or asks explicitly, often times the option will not be offered.
While the federal government cannot restrict or enforce vaccine mandates they can protect individuals facing discrimination in this area. In January 2018 the current administration established a new federal department under the HHS that was designed "to restore federal enforcement of our nation’s laws that protect the fundamental and unalienable rights of conscience and religious freedom" and specifically provides oversite to those organizations that receive federal funding. This new department is called the "The Conscience and Religious Freedom Division".
"Conscience protections apply to health care providers who refuse to perform, accommodate, or assist with certain health care services on religious or moral grounds."
Who should file a complaint?
You may file a complaint under the Federal Health Care Provider Conscience Protection Statutes if you believe you have experienced discrimination because of you:
- Objected to, participated in, or refused to participate in specific medical procedures, including abortion and sterilization, and related training and research activities
- Were coerced into performing procedures that are against your religious or moral beliefs
denied employment or been discriminated against while employed
- in a hospital,
- skilled nursing or other residential care facility,
- health care provider office inpatient or outpatient health care center,
- medical laboratory,
- ambulance service,
- direct health or medical insurance carrier,
- a facility serving elderly or persons with disabilities,
- health care provider office
Clients & Consumers Seeking Access to Shelter
- denied entry into a facility serving persons with disabilities or group home
Clients & Consumers Access to Programs
- Headstart program
- Developmental Disability Programs
- Foster care Licensing
Clients & Consumers Denied Care
- Denied care or discriminated against in a hospital,
- Denied care at health care provider office or inpatient or outpatient healthcare facilities
How to File a Conscience Complaint
You can file a complaint online or via mail, fax, or e-mail. Learn more about how to file a complaint with OCR. https://www.hhs.gov/conscience/complaints/filing-a-complaint/index.html
- You have the right to file a complaint (ONLINE or BY MAIL) for religious or philosophical discrimination due to vaccine coercion.
- Your complaint will be reviewed.
- This complaint process could STOP THEIR FEDERAL FUNDING ensuring religious/moral exemptions for every person
Thank you to the Voice for Choice Advocacy Group for researching and providing this information to Health Freedom Idaho.
UPDATE: Learn additional steps to protecting your civil right to vaccine exemption: healthcare-vaccine-exemption