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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Anti-vax baseball coach from Miami files religious discrimination complaint against MLB team

Two minor league baseball coaches with the Washington Nationals — one of them from Florida — have filed religious discrimination complaints after they say they were fired for refusing to get COVID-19 vaccines.

Larry Pardo, of Miami, and Brad Holman, of Wichita, Kansas, filed complaints with the U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, alleging the baseball franchise violated “their rights to free expression and observation of their sincerely held religious beliefs.”

The EEOC complaints were filed Friday by their Miami attorney, Alexander Fox. The complaints are expected to lay the groundwork for a federal lawsuit.

The coaches are but two of a growing number of Americans who are seeking to obtain religious exemptions from getting the vaccines, as more governments and companies have begun to mandate inoculations.

The Nationals last week terminated the contracts of Holman, 53, who was a minor-league pitching coordinator, and Pardo, 55, who coached in the Florida Complex League, a rookie-level league affiliated with major-league clubs. Both men joined the Nationals in 2018.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 22, 2021 at 03:28 PM | 39 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: coronavirus, nationals

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   1. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: September 22, 2021 at 03:55 PM (#6041044)
Poor persecuted Christians. What a tough go they have of it.
   2. salvomania Posted: September 22, 2021 at 04:02 PM (#6041048)
F*ck 'em
   3. I Knew A Guy Who Knew A Guy Who Knew Rey Ordonez Posted: September 22, 2021 at 04:03 PM (#6041049)
Fun fact: Larry Pardo is the scout who signed Ryan Braun.
   4. Tin Angel Posted: September 22, 2021 at 04:05 PM (#6041050)
I don't understand what the religious exemption could even be. Where does the bible say thou shall not vaccinate?
   5. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 22, 2021 at 04:09 PM (#6041052)
IIRc, the Church of Christ, Scientist shuns pretty much all medical intervention. Jehovah's Witness used to be against vaccines, although I think they have come around. Some Muslims (a minority I believe) have refused vaccinations that have porcine gelatin-related materials.
   6. bunyon Posted: September 22, 2021 at 04:12 PM (#6041053)
They have the right to not get vaccinated. They just have to stay away from other people.
   7. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: September 22, 2021 at 04:13 PM (#6041056)
my religion says that i can never be fired; firing me is a violation of my religious rights.
   8. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: September 22, 2021 at 04:15 PM (#6041059)
Where does the bible say thou shall not vaccinate?

The Church of Trump believes covid is just going to go away like a miracle.
   9. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: September 22, 2021 at 04:23 PM (#6041062)
I don't understand what the religious exemption could even be. Where does the bible say thou shall not vaccinate?
It's right there in between the Parable of the AR-15 and the part where Jesus tells the Pharisees to stone the lady to death.
   10. salvomania Posted: September 22, 2021 at 04:30 PM (#6041066)
Do they have kids? What do these jokers have to say about mandatory vaccinations for schools and summer camps?
   11. geonose Posted: September 22, 2021 at 04:34 PM (#6041071)
Church of Christ Scientist recommends that adherents follow recommendations from health authorities, but allows for individuals to make their own decisions, whatever that means [url=https://ukchristianscience.com/blog/christian-science-vaccinations[/url]

I know of no organized religion that says "no vaccines" but I could be wrong.

Sorry I can't get the URL to work right, but you get the idea.
   12. cardsfanboy Posted: September 22, 2021 at 04:44 PM (#6041074)
How to recognize someone is a moron... see the original link above. Obviously other indicators are possible, Trump Bumper stickers, history of racist, incel or using the word cancel culture in their own twitter feeds, believing in UFO's, Loch Ness Monster, Election Fraud or Big Foot.
   13. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 22, 2021 at 04:46 PM (#6041077)
My understanding is that this is already settled law as far as vaccine mandates and religious freedom go, the only question is whether the federal government can mandate it or not (which is not an issue here, since the Nationals issued the mandate, not the government) since the previous cases dealt with broad state power, and it's a bit murkier whether OSHA can compel vaccinations.
   14. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: September 22, 2021 at 04:55 PM (#6041079)
13 - mine as well
   15. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 22, 2021 at 06:22 PM (#6041104)
I don't understand what the religious exemption could even be.
Their claims appear to be based on the use of aborted fetal tissue in the manufacturing and/or testing of the vaccines. Generally, employers don’t have much success questioning the sincerity of employees’ religious beliefs, the issue would be whether the employees can be reasonably accommodated under Title VII & the ADA, and whether vaccination meets the ADA requirements for mandatory medical examinations. Not saying most baseball coaches have great cases for accommodation, but I wouldn’t say all of these cases are open & shut. For example, it might be difficult for an employer to require vaccination for an employee who could be accommodated by working remotely. From the EEOC Guidance:
What are some examples of reasonable accommodations or modifications that employers may have to provide to employees who do not get vaccinated due to disability; religious beliefs, practices, or observance; or pregnancy? (5/28/21)

An employee who does not get vaccinated due to a disability (covered by the ADA) or a sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance (covered by Title VII) may be entitled to a reasonable accommodation that does not pose an undue hardship on the operation of the employer’s business. For example, as a reasonable accommodation, an unvaccinated employee entering the workplace might wear a face mask, work at a social distance from coworkers or non-employees, work a modified shift, get periodic tests for COVID-19, be given the opportunity to telework, or finally, accept a reassignment.

Employees who are not vaccinated because of pregnancy may be entitled (under Title VII) to adjustments to keep working, if the employer makes modifications or exceptions for other employees. These modifications may be the same as the accommodations made for an employee based on disability or religion.
There is also a separate issue of requiring employees who have natural immunity through prior Covid infection to be vaccinated. Employers may not be much interested in litigating that issue - the employer dropped the requirement in the one case raising the issue that I’m aware of being litigated.
   16. smileyy Posted: September 22, 2021 at 08:11 PM (#6041127)
Their claims appear to be based on the use of aborted fetal tissue in the manufacturing and/or testing of the vaccines.


and (hopefully) a demonstrated consistency of this belief, eschewing other treatments/medications that have involved fetal tissue.
   17. Sleepy was just “inspecting the bunker”, y’all Posted: September 22, 2021 at 10:44 PM (#6041171)
Their claims appear to be based on the use of aborted fetal tissue in the manufacturing and/or testing of the vaccines. Generally, employers don’t have much success questioning the sincerity of employees’ religious beliefs
In this case, it’s pretty easy. Have they ever taken Advil, Tylenol, Prilosec, any statin, or any of about 100 other modern drugs?

Will they sign an attestation saying they will never, ever take one of those drugs, even to save their life?

If yes to both questions, they may have a sincere belief.
   18. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: September 22, 2021 at 10:50 PM (#6041172)
Church of Christ Scientist recommends that adherents follow recommendations from health authorities, but allows for individuals to make their own decisions, whatever that means [url=https://ukchristianscience.com/blog/christian-science-vaccinations[/url]

I know of no organized religion that says "no vaccines" but I could be wrong.

Sorry I can't get the URL to work right, but you get the idea.


I come from a Catholic family, but my brother converted to Christian Science when he was in high school. I don't know if it's outright forbidden, but using a lot of different medication is strongly discouraged, even over the counter cold and flu medication. I think he still would identify as a CS, though I don't think he attends services anymore. He's found it harder to reconcile a lot of their more conservative beliefs in recent years, given what being "conservative" in America has come to mean.

For whatever it's worth, he got vaccinated as soon as he was able to and it was never a question in his mind whether or not he would.
   19. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 22, 2021 at 11:53 PM (#6041192)
In this case, it’s pretty easy. Have they ever taken Advil, Tylenol, Prilosec, any statin, or any of about 100 other modern drugs? Will they sign an attestation saying they will never, ever take one of those drugs, even to save their life? If yes to both questions, they may have a sincere belief.
That’s not how such cases usually turn out. It might be difficult to prove that the employee was aware of the manufacturing & testing protocols of every drug he’s taken, or that the information is readily available. More importantly, employees don’t have to be perfect in their adherence to religious principles in order to be entitled to reasonable accommodation. A 7th Day Adventist who occasionally departs from his faith’s Sabbath requirements to attend MLB games doesn’t forfeit his right to have his employer reasonably accommodate his Sabbath requirements where possible. It’s usually a losing proposition to try to dispute an employee’s claim to have a sincere religious beliefs. After all, if an employer can reasonably accommodate an employee at de minimis cost, why not do so? I’ll be a bit surprised if the coaches case doesn’t turn on the accommodation issue rather than the sincerity of their beliefs.
   20. Sleepy was just “inspecting the bunker”, y’all Posted: September 23, 2021 at 12:39 PM (#6041257)
That’s not how such cases usually turn out. It might be difficult to prove that the employee was aware of the manufacturing & testing protocols of every drug he’s taken, or that the information is readily available.
it will be interesting to see how this turns out:

https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/09/hospital-staff-must-swear-off-tylenol-tums-to-get-religious-vaccine-exemption/

This isn’t something like the sabbath, which is actually written in a book. Pretending there is a religious reason not to get the vaccine is a made-up, disingenuous fraud. Lying liars need to be called on their crap.
   21. Itchy Row Posted: September 23, 2021 at 01:01 PM (#6041264)
They have the right to not get vaccinated. They just have to stay away from other people.
That's a little extreme. They can mingle with people as long as they agree not to exhale.
   22. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 23, 2021 at 01:39 PM (#6041292)
it will be interesting to see how this turns out: https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/09/hospital-staff-must-swear-off-tylenol-tums-to-get-religious-vaccine-exemption/

This isn’t something like the sabbath, which is actually written in a book. Pretending there is a religious reason not to get the vaccine is a made-up, disingenuous fraud. Lying liars need to be called on their crap.
Again, that is NOT the legal standard, just a hospital CEO trying to impose his personal view of what a ‘consistent’ religious objection should be. These cases will be decided under well-established legal principles concerning reasonable accommodation of religion (as well as the ADA issues). I linked to the EEOC Guidance, and noted that contesting the sincerity of an employees religious beliefs is usually a losing hand. It would be fairly easy for an employee to testify that they were long opposed to abortion on religious grounds but never knew that aborted fetal tissue was used in the manufacture or testing of drugs until it was publicized in connection with the Covid vaccines. Again, the law is quite clear that an employee normally doesn’t forfeit his or her right to religious accommodation for not being sufficiently scrupulous in their beliefs. From the EEOC Compliance Manual:
Like the religious nature of a belief, observance, or practice, the sincerity of an employee’s stated religious belief is usually not in dispute and is “generally presumed or easily established.”[40] Further, the Commission and courts “are not and should not be in the business of deciding whether a person holds religious beliefs for the ‘proper’ reasons. We thus restrict our inquiry to whether or not the religious belief system is sincerely held; we do not review the motives or reasons for holding the belief in the first place.”[41] The individual’s sincerity in espousing a religious observance or practice is “largely a matter of individual credibility.”[42] Moreover, “a sincere religious believer doesn’t forfeit his religious rights merely because he is not scrupulous in his observance,”[43] although “[e]vidence tending to show that an employee acted in a manner inconsistent with his professed religious belief is, of course, relevant to the factfinder’s evaluation of sincerity.”[44] Factors that – either alone or in combination – might undermine an employee’s credibility include: whether the employee has behaved in a manner markedly inconsistent with the professed belief;[45] whether the accommodation sought is a particularly desirable benefit that is likely to be sought for secular reasons;[46] whether the timing of the request renders it suspect (e.g., it follows an earlier request by the employee for the same benefit for secular reasons);[47] and whether the employer otherwise has reason to believe the accommodation is not sought for religious reasons.
As much as some here seem to desire it, these cases aren’t going to be adjudicated under ad hoc principles based on antipathy to the plaintiff’s claims. That’s not to say they will prevail, just that the cases, like most such cases, are far more likely to turn on the reasonableness of the requested accommodation rather than the sincerity of the religious beliefs as judged by those hostile to the underlying claims.
   23. RickG Posted: September 23, 2021 at 02:21 PM (#6041309)
Regarding CS, my wife was born into a CS family, her father worked for a CS University, and she attended a CS K-12 school. I would not consider any of them adherents at this point - her father was the last holdout, but years of neglecting health setbacks and a general distaste for some of the, um, practices of the CS community have shaken him loose.

I bring it up because, my wife tells me that there was a major measles outbreak when she was a child, and that state authorities shut the school down until students were vaccinated. They were duly vaccinated and the school reopened. That's why I always look askance at claims of religious exemption...if the rewards are large and obvious enough, or the punishments are clear enough, people will see their way to exceptions and convince themselves their God(s) are okay with it.

What I think may be real is extreme vaccine hesitancy due to religious beliefs or upbringing. Every kid is afraid of a needle, but that fear usually goes away or is dampened by the time they have a few shots. If you're a 70 year old man, and you've never had one, that fear just grows and grows. It's then a lot easier to say "My religion forbids this" than "This scares the crap out of me." To my mind that still isn't an excuse not to get vaccinated, but I have a bit of sympathy.

In my father-in-law's case, his cardiologist had to look him in the eye and say, "If you get this you will die" before he got the shot. And then he immediately felt like a fool because...nothing happened. It was never worth the angst.
   24. greenback used to say live and let live Posted: September 23, 2021 at 03:28 PM (#6041322)
Again, the law is quite clear that an employee normally doesn’t forfeit his or her right to religious accommodation for not being sufficiently scrupulous in their beliefs.

Yeah, this is how you get pastafarians wearing spaghetti strainers for their drivers license photos and someone from the Church of Satan leading prayers before town council meetings. The law is only clear because we as a society have a remarkably high tolerance for people hacking the Constitution. That tolerance is not guaranteed to persist.
   25. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 23, 2021 at 05:45 PM (#6041355)
Yeah, this is how you get pastafarians wearing spaghetti strainers for their drivers license photos and someone from the Church of Satan leading prayers before town council meetings. The law is only clear because we as a society have a remarkably high tolerance for people hacking the Constitution. That tolerance is not guaranteed to persist.
Worth noting that neither example involves employment, where the reasonable aspect of “reasonable accommodation” usually retains some sway. YMMV.
   26. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: September 24, 2021 at 07:47 AM (#6041435)
Where does the bible say thou shall not vaccinate?

The Church of Trump believes covid is just going to go away like a miracle.


You do know that the most under-vaccinated population are African-Americans, right?

EDIT: For which I can't really blame them. I mean, if you were Black, would you inject something just because whitey told you so?
   27. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 24, 2021 at 09:15 AM (#6041441)
Worth noting that neither example involves employment, where the reasonable aspect of “reasonable accommodation” usually retains some sway. YMMV.
Although Title VII uses the phrase "reasonable accommodation" (well, "reasonably accommodate"), the standard is very different than, e.g., the ADA's accommodation requirements. For the ADA, employers have to go to great expense and effort to accommodate. For religious discrimination¹ under Title VII, even though the statute says that an employer only needs to accommodate if it can do so without "undue hardship," any accommodation that imposes more than a de minimis cost on the employer is not required. (n.b.: some state laws might be more employee protective. I don't know the employment discrimination laws of all 50 states.) While an employer — as you mention above — would almost certainly lose a religious discrimination suit in which it failed to provide an accommodation to a full-time remote worker, there are few other scenarios where an employee would likely prevail on such a claim. Neither wearing a mask nor testing is as good as being vaccinated.

(And, of course, there is no aborted fetal tissue in the manufacturing and/or testing of the vaccines. There are cell lines derived from a fetus that may have been aborted 50 years ago involved in the testing — but not manufacture — of the mRNA vaccines, and perhaps in the manufacture also of the J&J one. But that's no more aborted fetal tissue than West Side Story is a work of Shakespeare.)


¹ It's the common term, but "discrimination" is a misnomer. What people asking for accommodations (religious or disability related) are doing is asking to be treated better than other workers, not to be treated equally.
   28. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: September 24, 2021 at 10:07 AM (#6041454)
You do know that the most under-vaccinated population are African-Americans, right?

I haven't seen any numbers on that, but it wouldn't surprise me from the EDIT you made. However judging from r/HermanCainAward and r/COVIDAteMyFace, the aggressively and proudly ignorant anti-vax population seems to be overwhelmingly if not exclusively the province of white evangelical Trump-humpers.
   29. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 24, 2021 at 10:36 AM (#6041458)
The data on vaccination by race is not very reliable, since the CDC only has racial data on 59% of those vaccinated. It wouldn't surprise me if blacks are indeed less vaccinated than whites, although I have seen surveys that show white evangelicals to be more vaccine hesitant than any other religious demographic, including black Protestants.
   30. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: September 24, 2021 at 01:25 PM (#6041474)
From the surveys that I've seen, low vaccination rates in the African American community is due mostly to trouble getting time off work/being able to afford time off work, and difficulty getting to a vaccination site. It would be interesting to see vaccination rates among African Americans broken down by income levels.
   31. Captain Joe Bivens, Elderly Northeastern Jew Posted: September 24, 2021 at 06:26 PM (#6041513)
would you inject something just becausewhitey told you so?


Idiot.
   32. Rough Carrigan Posted: September 24, 2021 at 06:33 PM (#6041516)
The Church of Trump believes covid is just going to go away like a miracle.


And here I thought the people of Sweden and Norway were either atheists or Lutherans. You learn something new every day.

Norway just announced that all restrictions are being done away with. Sweden never did lockdowns. Big dose of cognitive dissonance for you.
   33. Rough Carrigan Posted: September 24, 2021 at 06:39 PM (#6041517)
I haven't seen any numbers on that, but it wouldn't surprise me from the EDIT you made. However judging from r/HermanCainAward and r/COVIDAteMyFace, the aggressively and proudly ignorant anti-vax population seems to be overwhelmingly if not exclusively the province of white evangelical Trump-humpers.

One of the demographic groups with the lowest rate of choosing to get the injections is those with PhD's. Are they proudly ignorant, too, or are you just trying to shoehorn reality into fitting the template of your disdain?
   34. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 24, 2021 at 07:24 PM (#6041520)
While an employer — as you mention above — would almost certainly lose a religious discrimination suit in which it failed to provide an accommodation to a full-time remote worker, there are few other scenarios where an employee would likely prevail on such a claim. Neither wearing a mask nor testing is as good as being vaccinated.
Medical grade masks, social distancing, zoom meetings, and testing would accommodate many employees, in and out of professional sports. The undue hardship standard eliminates accommodation denials that are just based on hostility to the religion in question, or particular religious belief, rather than any solid work-related reason. That’s a lot of the cases that are successful. Not venturing an opinion on minor league baseball coaches, since neither the team nor coaches have provided sufficient info on the specifics of the requested accommodation, nor the reasons for denying it, but a scout might be able to sustain a similar claim.
   35. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 24, 2021 at 07:27 PM (#6041521)
One of the demographic groups with the lowest rate of choosing to get the injections is those with PhD's.
No. There was a survey that appeared to show that, which of course immediately got triumphantly seized on by Trumpkins, but it was bad data. It was entirely self-reported, and the tiny segment was dominated by clearly trolling responses.
   36. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 24, 2021 at 08:22 PM (#6041526)
Just for the record. Fully vaccinated as a % of total population:

Norway - 67.7%
Sweden - 63.1%
US - 55.1%
   37. Nasty Nate Posted: September 24, 2021 at 08:24 PM (#6041528)
If Norway and Sweden are so smart, why do they have significantly higher vaccination rates than the US? I guess they don’t have as many of those brilliant vaccine skeptical PhDs as we do.
hold on, let him get a rebuttal from boomer facebook

Edit: hey you changed your post
   38. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 24, 2021 at 08:47 PM (#6041535)
Haha, sorry. I really didn’t want to engage in a pointless argument.
   39. Random Transaction Generator Posted: September 24, 2021 at 09:02 PM (#6041539)
Sweden never did lockdowns.


Sweden covid death rate: 1,452/million
Denmark covid death rate: 454/million

They had triple the death rate of similarly located Denmark, who did lockdowns.

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