A suit against Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM), brought by an employee alleging that the company’s vaccine mandate constituted religious discrimination, was removed to federal court Monday.
The case was originally filed in Wayne County, Michigan state court; it was removed to the Eastern District of Michigan. According to the state court pleading, “BCBSM’s actions Violate Title VII and the First Amendment to the United States and Michigan Constitution by denying reasonable accommodations for religious exemptions.” The complaint says that unvaccinated employees were set to be suspended on December 10 and will be terminated on January 4, 2022. The plaintiffs are seeking an injunction blocking the terminations.
According to the complaint, the plaintiff is a remote employee who works in the defendant’s Detroit office, and seeks to represent a class of employees whom “all have sincerely held religious beliefs and have made a personal decision, after prayer and contemplation and in some cases consultations with religious authorities, and heartfelt research that the vaccine is not the correct choice for them to personally put into their bodies.”
The plaintiffs are represented by the Pacific Justice Institute. BCBSM is represented by Dickinson Wright.