Authored by Juliette Fairley via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),
Five months after filing a lawsuit against the Goleta Water District in Santa Barbara, attorneys have secured a six-figure award in favor of five plaintiffs resulting from the utility’s restrictive COVID-19 employee vaccine mandate.
“This was fairly early on that they offered this judgment that the plaintiffs were the prevailing parties, which means they did not want to litigate this case clearly and go to discovery,” said Mariah Gondeiro, an Advocates for Faith & Freedom lawyer.
“I believe that we can use it in other cases as a precedent.”
Advocates for Faith & Freedom, a nonprofit law firm, filed their lawsuit in June alleging that the mandate discriminated against their clients who have religious beliefs that prevented them from submitting to the injection.
The settlement resulted not only in Goleta Water District paying $125,000 to five plaintiffs, plus attorney’s fees, but also in agreeing to a judgment in which the plaintiffs prevailed.
“It’s not really surprising because the reality is we’re starting to see this across the country,” Gondeiro told The Epoch Times. “Government officials are being held accountable for their discriminatory policies and I am hopeful that we’re going to continue to see these types of decisions because what they did was wrong, and they hurt a lot of people’s lives.”
Two of the employees remain water district workers. Three have moved on.
“They didn’t want to have to pay for testing and the ones that have already left don’t want their jobs back,” Gondeiro said.
Because they requested and were granted religious exemptions, the five plaintiffs had to choose between unpaid leaves of absence or paying for bi-weekly COVID-19 tests on their own time.
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Tue, 11/22/2022 - 17:40