Wednesday, November 03, 2021

Nurse's Religious Objections Should Have Been Accommodated Under Illinois Right of Conscience Act

 In Rojas v. Martell,(IL Cir. Ct., Oct. 25, 2021), an Illinois state trial court held that under Illinois Healthcare Right of Conscience Act, a county Health Department Clinic should have accommodated the objections of a nurse who on religious grounds would not participate in abortion referrals or provide contraceptives to patients. However, the court found that plaintiff was entitled only to the statutory minimum damages of $2500 because she should have mitigated damages by pursuing a position that was available at a nursing home. The court summarized its holding:

[W]hen one member of a team of employees makes an objection of conscience to performing a minority of her job duties, the employer should be required to accommodate the employee in her present position if doing so does not unreasonably compromise the employer's operations.

ADF issued a press release announcing the decision.