(LifeSiteNews) - Americans in many different fields of work are suddenly having to choose between taking an abortion-tainted, poorly tested, and dangerous coronavirus injection or being fired from their jobs. Students are also having their educational opportunities denied without proof of COVID-19 vaccination. As many conservative commentators on Twitter are pointing out, over the course of 18 months, "15 days to slow the spread" turned into "two shots to feed your family."
President Joe Biden's September 9 announcement, that all employers with over 100 employees will soon be required to force those employees to receive coronavirus injections or submit to weekly testing, will impact an estimated 80 million Americans. The edict is stricter for federal employees and contractors, and healthcare workers at facilities that receive Medicaid or Medicare: they must submit to the vaccine and there is no testing opt-out option. It does appear that religious and medical exemptions will be accepted by the government.
Most of the below exemption resources can be used by physicians, nurses, students, or employees of any company. Most are not specific to any field. Read this resource carefully and fully to determine the best letter for your situation. Obtaining an exemption is not overly complicated.
Notice to readers: If you are aware of any additional resources that have been missed in this document, please click here and choose "Submit a News Tip" to send your information. This document will be updated as additional information is received and verified. Obviously, nothing in this article is meant to constitute legal advice.
The exception to the above note about the ease with which exemptions can be obtained is the military.
Military matters are further complicated because active-duty military personnel essentially give up some of their basic rights upon joining the armed forces. The military even has its own legal system through which members can be court-martialed. "The application of military law to members of the military reflects a recognition that such individuals are subject to different duties and expectations than civilian citizens," Justia explains.
This is the only sample language for requesting a religious accommodation or exemption for members of the military of which LifeSiteNews is aware.
Service members should also carefully read this primer from Children's Health Defense on religious liberty and vaccine exemptions in the military.
Biden's mandate that all employers with over 100 workers force their employees to be injected will impact every diocese and likely almost every Catholic university in the U.S. How strictly the vaccine will be forced upon priests and laity employed by Catholic institutions will depend on how far left the diocese or school is. Catholics who can't get a medical exemption may well need to find another job. Priests are in a particularly difficult situation. Priests can contact LifeSiteNews or attempt to use one of the below resources if they are trying to avoid being jabbed.
OPTIONS FOR MOST PEOPLE
Options for avoiding an employer- or university- mandated vaccine are: obtain a medical exemption, obtain a religious exemption, ask for accommodation (like being allowed to work from home if one works for a small company), or sue.
State law matters: Employees will have much recourse if they live in a state like Florida, rather than New York, Oregon, or California. Fourteen Republican governors have said they will push back against Biden's vaccine edict. Meanwhile, Montana law actually prohibits proof of coronavirus vaccination as a condition of employment. How will that work for huge companies like Amazon or Walmart?
If you have a contraindication to the coronavirus vaccine or are seeking a medical exemption based on previous infection and thus natural immunity to the coronavirus, the easiest way to file a medical exemption is by getting a trusted doctor to write one for you. If you need help finding a doctor, you can consult with a Physician via America's Frontline Doctors here.
Pregnant women, those with allergies to vaccine ingredients, people who went into anaphylactic shock or had a similar adverse reaction after their first coronavirus vaccine dose are also likely to seek medical exemptions.
Many Christians oppose the taking of vaccines that were tested on or contain body parts of aborted babies (a full chart showing which vaccines in use in the U.S. - and not just those for COVID-19 - were created unethically and which were created ethically can be accessed HERE). Others oppose vaccination for other reasons.
As numerous Catholic bishops have explained, the moral teaching of the Catholic Church holds that "a person may be required to refuse a medical intervention, including a vaccination, if his or her conscience comes to this judgment."
Recent documents and statements from the Vatican, the Pontifical Academy for Life, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and modern catechetical teachings note that although the Church allows Catholics to take abortion-tainted vaccines or medicines if no other options are available and the intent is to preserve life, vaccination itself must be voluntary.
Catholics opposed to taking the coronavirus vaccine needn't necessarily submit a Catholic-specific letter but can use a more general Christian letter that does not contradict Catholic teaching. Given the divide amongst U.S. bishops and in the hierarchy in general about the vaccine, this may be wise.
"In order for an employee or student to prevail under a claim for a religious exemption, whether based on pro-life or other religious beliefs, religious beliefs must be sincerely held, and the requested accommodation must be ‘reasonable,' and not constitute an undue hardship on the employer or institution," Liberty Council explains. "The manner in which the employer or institution continued its operations in 2020, prior to the availability of the COVID shots, establishes a baseline of treatment of employees or students that is not an ‘undue hardship.' It will NEVER be an ‘undue hardship' for the entity to allow the employee or student to continue doing what was considered ‘safe and effective' or ‘mitigating' in the absence of the vaccine."
The eminent legal group continues, "However, such treatment may become discriminatory, if novel or additional restrictions or requirements are applied to the person who should otherwise be exempt. If the COVID shots work, those people who have received them are protected, and it is not an undue hardship for individuals who have religious objections to not receive such shots."
Liberty Council also provides a sample "pastor verification letter." Such a letter "is beneficial to proving the sincerity of the belief, but is not legally required. It is nonetheless very helpful in substantiating a claim that one's belief is religious in nature, and that it is sincere."
Liberty Council urges people not to copy the text of their sample letters verbatim but let them serve as a "guide only."
Liberty Council also has a huge trove of legal and medical information about coronavirus vaccines on this page, which they regularly update.
America's Frontline Doctors has a list of statements from different faith leaders (Catholic, Jewish, Evangelical/Non-denominational Christian) about the coronavirus vaccines that can be used to support religious exemptions or help formulate a person's exemption.
Although, as noted above, it is not generally legal for employers to demand verification from a religious leader of a person's deeply held beliefs, it can be beneficial.
The Catholic bishops of Colorado have a letter template that Catholics can have their pastors sign when seeking a religious exemption from a vaccine mandate.
Another option for Catholics is to join the Confraternity of Our Lady of Fatima. Members or those wanting to become members can follow the simple process outlined on this page to request a personally signed letter from Bishop Athanasius Schneider. His Excellency will attest to a person's membership in a Catholic organization, namely the Confraternity of Our Lady of Fatima, that holds that abortion-tainted vaccines are gravely immoral.
"It has been reviewed by trusted legal counsel," the Confraternity says. "However, it is not legal advice and it does not guarantee you will receive an accommodation. You should carefully review this language and confirm that it accurately reflects your individual beliefs and objections." The Confraternity also notes that the Thomas More Society accepts requests for legal help via this form.
For approximately $1,400 (the cost varies based on the situation), the lawyers at the high-powered law firm Siri & Glimstad will provide individualized assistance with preparing, filing, and obtaining medical or religious exemptions. Their intake form is available here.
The Republican National Committee has already announced it is suing Biden over his employer vaccine mandate.
"Like many Americans, I am pro-vaccine and anti-mandate," said RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel. "Many small businesses and workers do not have the money or legal resources to fight Biden's unconstitutional actions and authoritarian decrees, but when his decree goes into effect, the RNC will sue the administration to protect Americans and their liberties."
The Daily Wire has also retained legal counsel and will not comply with the mandate.
Liberty Council lists instructions at the bottom of this page for nursing students, students, and employees whose requests for religious exemptions to the vaccine have been denied. Nursing students, students, and employees seeking legal help can follow those instructions to contact Liberty Council about next legal steps.
America's Frontline Doctors has a form through which you can contact them if you are looking for an attorney in your state to help if your employer is attempting to force you to take the vaccine.
Anyone wishing to make his or her employer aware of possible liabilities of mandating the coronavirus vaccines can give his or her employer this form (provided by America's Frontline Doctors) and ask that the employer fill it out. (The form is also available here.) He or she can then go to this link and click "vaccine public letter," edit the parts in red, and deliver it to his or her employer.
The New Civil Liberties Alliance is representing people who have natural immunity to the coronavirus in their legal battle against Michigan State University's vaccine mandate. Their website does not advertise that they are taking new clients, but their legal reasoning may be useful to any attorneys with which you are working.
The "vax-or-test" schemes that the federal government has mandated for private employers with over 100 workers appear to violate the ADA and could easily be challenged in court.
"Some argue that even if irrational or retaliatory, forced COVID testing does not impose a big enough indignity to sue over," Severino wrote on July 30, 2021. "Let's not be naïve. The DOJ memo and yesterday's announcement are merely dress rehearsals for the ultimate goal of imposing a national vaccine mandate."
"When asked...about whether he has the power to do such a thing, Biden said it is still an open question," he warned. "In truth, the answer comes down to one thing - whether or not Biden thinks he can get away with it. Like the proverbial slow-boiling frog, if there is not a strong reaction now, we'll all be cooked soon."
As evidenced by yesterday's vaccine mandate announcement, Biden apparently does indeed think he has the power to impose what essentially amounts to a national vaccine mandate. It's now up to regular Americans who don't want the federal government dictating their deeply personal and consequential medical decisions to stand up and fight back in every way possible.