Federal Jury Awards Damages to Research Scientist Fired for Refusing Covid Injection

A research scientist has just been awarded a big payout from a federal jury after being fired by BlueCross BlueShield in Tennessee for refusing to be injected with the company’s mandated Covid mRNA shot.

Tanja Benton was awarded $687,000 in damages and backpay after being punished for standing up for medical freedom.

Benton had worked at the firm for 16 years when she was fired.

Nevertheless, company officials told Benton in August of 2021 that she would need to be “fully vaccinated” to keep her position, according to her lawsuit.

Benton, a Christian, refused, however, saying aborted fetal cell lines were involved in the development of the COVID-19 vaccines.

She told company officials that she could not “in good conscience consume the vaccine, which would not only defile her body but also anger and dishonor God.”

According to a document made public by the federal court in eastern Tennessee on June 30, the jury sided with Benton and she was awarded $177,240 in back pay, $10,000 in compensation, and $500,000 in punitive damages.

BlueCross BlueShield said Benton was fired because her position involved “regular external public-facing interactions.”

Benton said her position became fully remote in 2020.

However, BlueCross BlueShield said the job may have involved some in-person interaction with clients.

Benton was told to pursue other positions within the company and applied for two.

But she was fired on November 4, 2021.

Five days later, she was told “Unfortunately, all positions require the vax now,” according to an email entered in the case.

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Her lawsuit charged that BlueCross BlueShield violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The law says an employer may not “discharge any individual, or otherwise discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment” because of that person’s religion.

Employers can disregard religious exemption requests if they can prove accommodating them would create undue hardship.

BlueCross BlueShield “cannot prove that allowing Plaintiff to continue her employment as a Bio Statistical Research Scientist without being vaccinated for COVID-19 constitutes an undue hardship,” the suit stated.

The company “also cannot show that it made any good-faith efforts to accommodate plaintiff’s sincerely held religious beliefs.”

BlueCross BlueShield was also accused of violating the Tennessee Human Rights Act

The state law bars discrimination by employers at the state level.

In a statement, Dalya Qualls White, chief communications officer for BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, said:

“We’re disappointed by the decision.

“We believe our vaccine requirement was the best decision for our employees and members, and we believe our accommodation to the requirement complied with the law.

“We appreciate our former employees’ service to our members and communities throughout their time with our company.”

Presented with the case, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission cleared Benton to sue her former employer.

Company lawyers had argued the firm would be unduly burdened by providing Benton an indefinite exception despite her role as a “public-facing employee.”

The lawyers said she could not have continued working remotely indefinitely.

The company also asserted that Benton did not hold a sincerely held religious belief and “denies that the COVID-19 vaccine was derived from aborted fetus cell lines, which is verifiably false,” according to the company’s filing.

Johnson & Johnson used cells derived from an aborted fetus in the design, production, and testing of its COVID-19 vaccine.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines also utilized the cells in early testing.

The companies have said the final products do not contain aborted fetal cells.

READ MORE – Bombshell Study Directly Links Covid Shots to Sudden Deaths Surge

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By Frank Bergman

Frank Bergman is a political/economic journalist living on the east coast. Aside from news reporting, Bergman also conducts interviews with researchers and material experts and investigates influential individuals and organizations in the sociopolitical world.

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