The University of Michigan Health system fired Valerie Kloosterman, a physician assistant, because of her religious beliefs. She was terminated for seeking a religious accommodation from using biology-obscuring pronouns and from referring patients for “gender reassignment” drugs and surgeries. To fight this injustice, we filed a lawsuit against Michigan Health for violating federal law prohibiting workplace religious discrimination.
Valerie worked for Michigan Health for 17 years and is the third generation in her family to work in her local health care system. She was committed to giving the best possible care to all her patients and treated them all respectfully, regardless of their sexual orientation or declared gender. She regularly received exemplary reviews, and supervisors called her “professional,” “very ethical,” and a “pleasure to work with.”
In summer 2021, after a mandatory “diversity and inclusion” training, she asked for a religious accommodation because she could not affirm statements about gender identity that violated her deeply held Christian beliefs.
Despite her stellar record, a Michigan Health representative with no medical training called Valerie “evil” and a “liar,” denigrated her religious beliefs and even blamed her for gender dysphoria-related suicides. Less than a month later, she was fired.
Federal law prohibits workplace discrimination and
harassment on the basis of religion. It also requires
employers to provide reasonable religious accommodation,
if it can be accomplished without causing undue hardship on the business.
In this free download, learn how Title VII of the 1964 Civil
Rights Act protects employees based on their religious beliefs.
– First Liberty Attorney, Jordan Pratt
Michigan Health’s values state that it will “foster an environment where every individual has a sense of belonging, a voice that is heard and the opportunity to achieve and thrive.” But the company’s alleged “inclusivity” doesn’t seem to apply for people of faith like Valerie.
Instead, this woke corporation is forcing radical policies that are driving a way people with deeply held religious beliefs. At a time when we need as many health care providers as possible, it defies logic to purge compassionate and experienced people like Valerie just because of their faith.
Medical professionals like Valerie should not have to abandon their religious beliefs in order to remain employed. Valerie deserves to get her job back without having to violate her religious convictions, so that she can continue caring for her community and her patients.
Radical woke ideology is taking over companies across the country. From the boardroom to the breakroom, there’s growing intolerance and hostility toward religion. People of faith are often put in the untenable position of choosing between their work or their beliefs.
It’s wrong and outrageous to force Americans to choose between their faith and their livelihood. They should not have to face that difficult choice.
Religious discrimination in the workplace is illegal. The law states that employers are obligated to provide reasonable accommodations for religious exercise, if it can be accomplished without causing undue hardship on the business.
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When companies cave to cancel culture and anti-religious bias, religious Americans are often reduced to second-class citizens, as just about any other right trumps religious liberty.
We must protect the rights of all Americans to practice their faith without fear of losing their job. Please give now and join First Liberty in this fight. Your support is essential in delivering a legal victory for Valerie—and for many Americans who are singled out for their faith in the workplace.