Attorney General Jason Miyares has taken a strong stance for medical freedom and constitutional liberties. INOVA Health Systems, located in northern Virginia, has implemented a strictly enforced vaccination policy for employees. They have made several vaccinations mandatory for employment, including the covid 19 immunization product. Despite offering exemptions for both medical and religious reasons they have come under scrutiny for denying lawful exemptions that have been asserted by employees. The Attorney General has sent a clear message in response to this; Workplace exemptions will be honored in Virginia.
On July 22, 2022 Attorney General Jason Miyeras sent the following letter to the president of INOVA health systems.
Dear Dr. Jones;
My office has received information from numerous sources that INOVA Health Systems has denied multiple employee requests for religious and disability exemptions from INOVA’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. These denials appear to be based on an incorrect judgement of the sincerely held religious beliefs of individuals, a breakdown in the interactive process, and an outright failure to accommodate reasonable requests as required by law. Moreover, these denials are resulting in terminations and threatened terminations of critical healthcare professionals in the commonwealth.
The Virginia Human Rights Act prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of religion and disability, Va. Code § 2.2-3900, et seq.; § 2.2-510. Et seq. Religion, under the Act, “includes any outward expression of religious faith….” Va. Code § 2.2-3901(E).
My Office is authorized by the Act to commence a civil action against any employer engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination against any person or group or persons where the violation raises an issue of general public importance. § 2.2-3905(A).
Be advised that these complaints are currently under review by my office.
Jason S. Miyares
This bold letter shows the current Attorney Generals commitment to protecting exemptions in Virginia. He outlines the willful disregard of the law and sets a firm boundary that it will not be tolerated. This is a huge win for medical freedom in Virginia!
As an organization that works directly with our elected representatives we encourage you to thank and support Jason Miyeras on his social media platforms or by email for standing up for Virginia workers, and especially for ensuring that our essential frontline workers are granted exemptions.
Delegate Dave LaRock, another champion for constitutional liberty and medical freedom, has worked relentlessly to preserve the right to bodily autonomy through lawful exemptions. He has shown specific concern in ensuring the rights of Virginia workers are upheld. His previous letter to the attorney general on behalf of Virginia workers likely played a role in prompting the Attorney Generals resolute approach.
Dave LaRock’s letter;
The Honorable Jason Miyares
Attorney General of Virginia
202 North 9th St
Richmond, VA 23219
Dear Attorney General Miyares,
I am requesting an official advisory opinion regarding the legality of private employers in Virginia conditioning employment on their employees taking an experimental Covid-19 “vaccine” even when the employee claims a religious exemption. Please advise whether this is a violation of rights protected by the Constitution and Code of Virginia.
As I’m sure your office is aware, many healthcare workers have filed complaints with the Attorney General’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) under § 2.2-3907, asking OCR to represent them against employment discrimination as per § 2.2-3906 Civil action by Attorney General.
Many Virginians, perhaps numbering well over 500, have followed their employer’s instructions and explained to their employers why following the employer’s mandatory COVID-19 “vaccination” policy would violate their religious convictions, only to see their exemption claim denied, often without accommodation or explanation. This amounts to a religious test; with few exceptions, those employees have been informed that their future employment is conditioned on the employee providing proof of having received a COVID-19 “vaccination”.
Please reference Virginia’s Constitution, Article I. Bill of Rights Section 16 Free exercise of religion; no establishment of religion reads as follows: “...No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but all men shall be free to profess and by argument to maintain their opinions in matters of religion, and the same shall in nowise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.”
Also please reference the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, which is still at Code of Virginia Title 57, Chapter 1, forming the precedent for the 1st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
Likewise please reference the Virginia Human Rights Act (VHRA) which reads as follows: “B. It is an unlawful discriminatory practice for: 1. An employer to: a. Fail or refuse to hire, discharge, or otherwise discriminate against any individual with respect to such individual's compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of such individual's race, color, religion...”
Some employers are misconstruing the situation of those claiming religious exemption to be a voluntary self-termination, and informing their employees that they will be ineligible to receive unemployment benefits unless they return to work with proof of Covid-19 “vaccination” in violation of their conscience.
It is worth noting that the “vaccination” currently available which employers are conditioning employment on is authorized under federal Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) which prohibits mandating of drugs/vaccinations in use under EUA status. No FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine is available in the Commonwealth; I confirmed this with Health Commissioner Colin Green on April 1, 2022.
I appreciate your prompt consideration of this request, and am available should you require any clarification of this inquiry.
With every election we face new circumstances that potentially impact our essential and inherent liberties. In uncertain times it is imperative that we acknowledge and support those who take courageous stances and bold actions. Today medical freedom prevails. As citizens we have a responsibility to be mindful, watchful and involved in all of our elections, local, state and national. We must ensure we are electing strong constitutionally sound representatives like Jason Miyares and Dave LaRock.
"Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty"
Resources and templates for exemptions can be found here.