Former Disney Employees Sue for Religious Discrimination

Three former employees refused to wear face masks or get COVID vaccines due to religious beliefs.

QUICK FACTS:
  • Three former employees of Walt Disney World are suing the company, saying they were fired for refusing to wear face masks or get the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The trio declined to get the coronavirus vaccine for religious reasons and two of them were fired in March and a third was let go in June, according to the suit.
  • Barbara Andreas, Stephen Cribb, and Adam Pajer filed suit on June 30, claiming that Disney discriminated against them by not accommodating their requests for religious exemptions.
  • The suit claims that Disney’s “augmented protocols” forced on nonvaccinated employees consisted of “harsh isolation and restrictions” that made it made it “nearly impossible to find a compliant manner and location in which to eat or drink while on shift.”
  • The former employees worked for the company for between seven and 20 years.
DETAILS FROM THE SUIT:
  • One of the employees, Adreas, had worked for Disney for 17 years and actively looked for a religious exemption, saying that facial covers were an “affront” to her Christian beliefs.
  • The suit said the participants believed that if they were to go along with Disney’s demands they would be “participating in a medical experiment, such as covid testing or vaccines” which was a violation of her beliefs due to the use of aborted fetal cells in the production of the vaccines.
  • Disney responded to her request, saying that “after careful review of the information you provided, we are unable to conclude that you are prevented from wearing a face cover due to a sincerely held religious belief, practice or observance.”
  • Despite the employees citing biblical scriptures to support their request for accommodation, Disney denied requests for all three participants.
  • The suit alleges that Disney “could and should have chosen to accommodate these religious beliefs in practice.”
BACKGROUND:
  • Disney’s vaccine mandate was suspended late last year after Gov. Ron DeSantis and other Florida lawmakers limited the company’s power to require its employees to be vaccinated.
  • The company also later dropped the mask requirements for vaccinated employees.