“The court finds it plausible that Plaintiff could subscribe to veganism with a sincerity equating that of traditional religious views.”
Congratulations (for now) to Sakile S. Chenzira of Cleveland, Ohio. Chenzira had been fired from a job as a hospital customer service representative for refusing to get a flu vaccine. She refused the vaccine because it was in incubated in a chicken egg.
If you can read legalese, check out the the court’s Opinion and Order. There’s been no ruling yet on whether Chenzira can continue her employment, but the court did find her claim sufficiently valid to proceed to whatever the next step is.
The only reporting I’ve seen on this so far is wonky stuff from the business-liability community, such as “3 Employer Bummers” from Employment And Labor Insider, “Fringe ‘religions’ (veganism?) raise interesting problems for accommodation requests” from Ohio Employer’s Law Blog, and a story at BusinessInsurance.com. It makes sense that employers would be following this carefully.
For a lot of us, the biggest thing we have to worry about as vegans in the workplace is whether we get birthday cake or not. But for some jobs, like Chenzira’s, it can get a lot more serious.
Can you imagine a situation where sticking to your vegan principles could endanger your job?
Is veganism a religion? If not, is it equivalent to a religion?
Would you get a flu vaccine if you felt you were at risk, despite it being incubated in eggs? How serious would a medical threat have to be for you to consider using medical solutions that involve animal products?