The Illinois Freedom Caucus is criticizing recent developments in the state, including a state appeals court ruling that permits employee terminations for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine.
The Illinois Freedom Caucus expressed their concerns about the consequences faced by Illinoisans. They believe that the ruling is a result of the "radical left" and criticized the state for not protecting individual liberties and medical decisions.
“‘No jab, No job!’ All this time later, Illinoisans are still facing the consequences of the radical left,” the Illinois Freedom Caucus said on Facebook.
The Illinois Freedom Caucus's comment comes as an Illinois state appeals court has ruled that employees in the state can be terminated for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine, citing changes to the Illinois Healthcare Right of Conscience Act. The ruling came in response to a case involving Laura Lenz, a nurse who was fired from Advocate Health and Hospitals Corporation for her refusal to comply with the company's vaccine mandate. The court's decision noted that the amendments to the Conscience Act specifically excluded mandates related to COVID-19, allowing private employers to terminate workers who refuse vaccination unless they acknowledge a religious exemption request.
Meanwhile, State Rep. Adam Niemerg (R-Dieterich) has proposed the COVID-19 Freedom Act, which aims to make it unlawful to discriminate against individuals based on their refusal to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The legislation would safeguard individuals' medical decisions and individual liberties and prevent discrimination in public assistance. However, the bill has not been taken up in the General Assembly.
In Chicago city, employees were fired for refusing to be vaccinated. According to a report from NBC 5 Chicago, a state hearing ruled that the City of Chicago employees fired or disciplined for violating COVID-19 vaccination requirements must be reinstated and compensated for any loss of wages or benefits, citing violations of the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act. This ruling is seen as a rebuke of the city’s vaccine mandate and requires the city to “make whole” affected workers, potentially affecting a few dozen employees, with the ruling now going to the agency’s board for review. Other similar legal actions have been taken in states such as Washington and New York where employees were fired for refusing to be vaccinated.
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