City in Washington Walking Back on Deal to Allow Religious Exemptions for COVID-19 Vaccinations

How is this not discrimination?

REDMOND, WA – Currently, approximately two dozen firefighters in Redmond, Washington risk losing their jobs next month if they don’t comply with Governor Jay Inslee’s vaccination mandate.

According to them, the City said originally that they would honor the religious exemptions and allow them to be still employed. But now, they say the City is walking back those statements.

Mitchell Pearson, one of the firefighters whose job is in limbo, spoke Tuesday at a City Council meeting. He said, “The men and women of the Redmond Fire Department that are currently in this position do not want to lose their careers. They want to work hard for the City.”

Brian Robillard, who has served with Redmond Fire for 28 years, said during the meeting, “The City of Redmond has the ability to honor their negotiated agreement and allows us to serve the citizens of Redmond just as we have since this all started.”


Robillard’s wife, Tracy, spoke to local news outlets. She said, “It’s sad. That’s his life. It’s been his life. It’s been our life. I take pride in saying that my husband’s a firefighter.”

Sophie Pearson told news outlets, “It just feels like they are saying, well too bad we can’t help you, and good luck on your next endeavor.”

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The City of Redmond is not commenting other than to say they are following state guidelines.

Family members of the firefighters say that they jumped through hoops to obtain the City of Redmond’s religious exemption, and now they may not even be honoring them.

Sknge Alsin, the mother of a firefighter, said, “For us to even contemplate to fire any of these heroes, shame on us. We should keep every job intact.”

The Redmond Fire Department currently employs about 164 full-time employees.

This piece was written by Leah Anaya on September 23, 2021. It originally appeared in RedVoiceMedia.com and is used by permission.

The opinions expressed by contributors and/or content partners are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of LifeZette.

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7 months ago

I’m really surprised how uninformed people are when it comes to these “jab mandates,” especially when it comes to a religious exemption. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is very clear on this matter, that once an employee, especially a government employee, makes it known they have a religious exemption – [ someone doesn’t need to ask to be exempt, they claim it, ] i.e. sincerely held religious belief, they must be accommodated by the employer. People do no have to prove their religious belief or belong to a specific denomination that has doctrine on vaccines or get a letter from their church pastor either. 

If the employer attempts to pressure the person to prove their exemption, demanding they jump through hoops and questioning their beliefs, it’s harassment and discrimination. You contact the EEOC and file a complaint and start the ball rolling. Usually this is enough to get them off your back.  Yes, that will piss off the HR department and will probably put you on their radar, but they can go screw themselves at this point, because the law is on your side.  If they fire you then there are a thousand lawyers ready to file a lawsuit on your behalf because the employer violated so many federal and state laws it’s hard to count them all. This is where people need to grow a set of balls and be willing to fight like hell.  Don’t ever give the employer power over you to make decisions about your health and personal beliefs. Document everything, send all communications in writing – certified mail return receipt if you need to, do not agree for sit down formal talks with them, ignore to answer questions about if you have had a vaccine shot in the past or have every been treated by a physician, or are on prescription medication.  All of that is irrelevant to your sincerely held religious beliefs.  The government and some states have engaged with lawyers that are trying to skirt the laws and play on people’s ignorance of their rights.

Secondly, there is no FDA approved Cover vaccine available, Comirnaty or whatever the f_ck they call it isn’t out yet and they can’t make you take something against your sincerely held religious beliefs especially those drugs that are EUA even if they say you need to in order to keep your job.  Drugs approved under EUA shield big Pharma from any injury claims and they know it – so don’t be a sheep and take it and have issues with it later, your SOL at this point.  What good is your job when your health just took a dive as a result of these experimental jabs?  Don’t be one of their lab rats.

If after all this hassle, the employer comes back and says they can not provide an accommodation for your sincerely held religious belief, then the employer, not the employee,  has to prove that it would cause an unreasonable hardship to them. The word here is PROVE, it’s up to them to provide the proof that by you not taking the jab you’re putting an unreasonable hardship on their ability to conduct business not you, which is a joke, because the data is all coming out now that the double jabbed are the one’s spreading the disease.  

It’s possible that some people will be fired for their sincerely held religious belief to not get the jab, and they will be scared, however, in time these people that are fired, especially government and civil servant employees that are willing to fight it, will most likely receive reinstatement, back pay and punitive damages.

Don’t let anyone walk all over you and take your job away because of a scamdemic that is being used to take away your rights. 

Stand up and be strong, be bold, don’t ask, demand your rights and let them know that they are in for a hell of a fight that they eventually will not win and if that is worth it to them.