by Alyssa Walkup & Jorge Gomez • 5 min read
Woke corporations continue to discriminate against religious employees. The latest offender? Disney World.
The Orlando-based theme park recently fired three employees for speaking up about the company’s religious discrimination and violations of state law regarding COVID-19.
Disney World suspended its vaccine mandate for workers in November 2021 to comply with state legislation. The theme park lifted mask mandates for vaccinated workers in April. However, after Florida outlawed vaccine mandates, Disney World put in place “augmented protocols” for nonvaccinated employees.
The three employees—Barbara Andreas, Stephen Cribb and Adam Pajer—recently filed suit against Disney World. They are suing under a Florida law that protects whistleblowers, claiming that reporting the company’s discriminatory actions to authorities led to their firings. They previously reported the company to the Florida Attorney General, the Florida Commission on Human Relations, and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, claiming discrimination and retaliation, and for violating state laws prohibiting workplace vaccine mandates.
“I wish I could say [Disney] respond[ed] [to my exemption request] with diversity and inclusion like they preach, but unfortunately, we were met with a lot of silence, a lot of backlash, a lot of retaliation.”
Cribb added that the company’s human resources department reached out to him. However, they refused to speak once he asked if his attorney could be present during the call.
Florida statutes prohibit religious discrimination by employers. Additionally, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects against workplace discrimination on the basis of religion. The federal law makes clear that businesses cannot discharge employees on the basis of their religious convictions. Employers must accommodate the sincerely held religious beliefs of their employees when they do not impose an undue hardship on the employer.
Instead of promoting inclusion, Disney, along with many other companies, is going out of its way to exclude religious employees.
As people of faith continue to face discrimination in the workplace, First Liberty is fighting on the frontlines to hold woke corporations accountable. We’re currently representing several clients who were fired due to their religious beliefs. Winning these cases could have an enormous impact on the rights of millions of workers across our country.
Defending Religious Americans from Woke Cancel Culture
First Liberty is fighting right now on behalf of Lacey Smith and Marli Brown, two Christian flight attendants fired for their religious beliefs.
Alaska Airlines wrongfully terminated them. Acting on their religious beliefs, Lacey and Marli politely asked about the company’s support for the “Equality” Act, after the airline invited employees to discuss the topic in an employee-only forum. The airline disparaged their beliefs and promptly fired them.
First Liberty filed suit in federal district court against Alaska Airlines, arguing that the company violated federal civil rights law that prohibits religious discrimination.
Similarly, First Liberty is defending Robyn Strader —a nurse practitioner with multiple, advanced degrees—who was fired from CVS Pharmacy after the company accommodated her religious beliefs without issue for six and a half years. Why? Because CVS wants to force its employees to prescribe contraceptives and abortifacient drugs, even when it violates their religious beliefs.
Military Service Members Face Career-Ending Threats
It’s not just companies. It appears the Department of Defense (DoD) is also caving to the woke agenda and disfavoring religious service members.
Thousands of our men and women in uniform have been denied religious accommodations to the vaccine mandate. According to military regulations and federal law, all service members have a right to serve our country without having to violate their religious beliefs. Shockingly, they’re having to fight for their livelihood and their careers, all because they want to serve in a manner consistent with their religious beliefs.
First Liberty continues an important legal battle for 35 U.S. Navy SEALs and several U.S. Air Force service members who are facing discrimination for their religious beliefs. The DoD has repeatedly treated them unequally. Many of them have been threatened with involuntary separation, denied from advancement opportunities and, in some cases, even denied medical care.
In America, no one should be forced to choose between their faith and their livelihood. As First Liberty fights on this important battlefront, we need YOUR HELP.
Together, we can hold corporate America and government officials accountable to our country’s historic commitment to religious freedom. Your support is critical to securing more victories that will protect our rights in the workplace. Give now and join First Liberty in this fight.