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Indianapolis Political Law Information

Ascension St. Vincent Sued By Workers Who Declined Covid-19 Vaccine On Religious Grounds

INDIANOPIS — More than 50 employees of St. Vincent Hospital & Ascension Health in Indiana have suing the health care system because they say they were treated unfairly when they were not let off the hook for getting the COVID-19 vaccine because of their religious beliefs.

The class-action lawsuit says that by turning down those requests, Ascension Health, that owns St. Vincent, broke Title VII of  Civil Rights Act of 1964.

As per the complaint, employees got emails saying that the accommodation would cause “undue hardship to  organisation due to increased risk to  workplace & patient safety.”

The lawsuit says that Ascension Health didn’t do what Title VII requires and figure out how making these changes would be too hard.

“Ascension Health set up a way to compel healthcare workers & staff to get the COVID-19 vaccine against their will, even though they had religious objections to it,” the lawsuit says.

It also says that employees were told that if they weren’t vaccinated, they could be suspended without pay from November 12 to December 17, 2021, and if they still hadn’t gotten the vaccine by January 4, they “voluntarily resigned.” Ascension Healthcare later let employees who hadn’t been vaccinated come back to work “without any more restrictions than those put on vaccinated employees,” the company says.

The lawsuit says that Ascension Health broke Title VII by, between other things, not making reasonable accommodations, not following federal law when evaluating religious exemptions, & suspending without pay 1000s of employees whose religious beliefs wouldn’t let them get the COVID-19 vaccines.

The Indiana Housing Task Force Is Looking Into Unfair Appraisal Practises.

INDIANAPOLIS—Carlette Duffy’s story showed a troubling truth which is backed up by national & local data: homes owned by Black people are often undervalued by appraisers, especially in neighbourhoods where most of the residents are Black.

In Duffy’s case, she got two estimates for how much her home was worth: $125,000 and $110,000. The second one was less than the first.

She knew what other homes in her neighbourhood had been appraised for, so she felt like something wasn’t right.

Before her third appraisal, Duffy got rid of her art, books, pictures, & even hair care products.

Duffy said, “Anything that told me a Black person lives here.”

She had a white friend display appraisers the house, and they said it was worth $259,000.

State Rep. Cherrish Pryor, D-Indianapolis, told she knows Duffy & that her story, which is similar to many others, is why she has always fought for the State Legislature to pass Fair Housing Laws.

The Republican Super Majority has not taken up the two bills written by Pryor. These bills would lower property taxes and stop unfair lending and appraisal practises.

But a piece of the second bill was  includedto the Housing Task Force. The tasks force was made to look at problems with housing and the lack of housing in Indiana.

The Housing Task Force will look at and study housing appraisals that are biassed.

“People of colour, like Blacks & Latinos, who have invested and bought homes have tried to live the American Dream. They’re not being judged fairly, “Pryor said.

The Housing Task Force has to give a report to the governor and the general assembly by November 1.

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