WCVB cameraman sues station over firing for refusing to get Covid-19 shots
A videographer who was fired from his job working on WCVB's "Chronicle" show in 2021 for refusing Covid-19 shots has sued the station and the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance for his firing in November, 2021 and denial of unemployment benefits, saying the station refused his legitimate request for a religious exemption and that the state is also discriminating against him by refusing to pay him unemployment.
In his suit, filed in US District Court, George Rodrigue II says the station could have easily kept him on because he only rarely engaged in close human contact on the job - especially when he was doing filming from a helicopter or via the drone that he was one of the few people at the station with experience flying one. He is seeking at least $4 million in damages.
Rodrigue's complaint compares his treatment to that given early AIDS patients, as shown in the movie "Philadelphia.'
His complaint says that while he is no longer a member of a specific church, he has a strong belief, based in part on the New Testament, that God does not want him "polluting his body with foreign substances - particularly substances that do not exist in nature, having been entirely invented, owned, and marketed by humankind." He said he has given up drugs prescribed by his doctors for this reason as well. He also states:
It is Mr. Rodrique’s sincerely held religious belief that human beings have been endowed by the Creator to have free will and the liberty to choose what they feel is best for their own bodies, in accordance with His (and only His) commandments. Mr. Rodrique believes that no earthly entity, whether an individual, a corporation, or a government, may violate another individual’s free will and sacred bodily integrity through coerced medical treatment.
Also, the nature of his job doesn't really require vaccination , so the station could have easily accommodated him:
Being vaccinated for any number of diseases, thereby enjoying an immune system function that is alleged to be superior to that of the unvaccinated, may very well be a bona fide occupational qualification for health care workers, who must avoid being infected with various diseases by sick patients and transmitting them to other patients and colleagues.
Mr. Rodrique's occupation, on the other hand, did not require any contact with colleagues or human interview subjects, and when it did, his camera's focal length provided the social distance, while Mr. Rodrique wore face masks and received regular tests.
In addition to religious discrimination and retaliation, specifically under the 1964 Civil Rights Act and state law, Rodrigue is also alleging violations of his rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act against WCVB and his rights for an appeal hearing before the unemployment department.
He is also charging WCVB with violating his First Amendment rights because before he was fired, he was suspended for ten days and required to undergo "sensitivity training for statements he made on his personal Facebook page, including blaming the pandemic on Chinese communists and referring to mainstream media as "pussies."
Rodrigue is represented by Ilya Feoktistov, a South End attorney who last week filed a suit in state court against Boston Medical Center on behalf of an HIV-positive man who says he cannot wear a mask for the semi-annual checkups he needs to keep getting the pills that keep the virus in check.
Complete complaint (1.3M PDF).
Like the job UHub is doing? Consider a contribution. Thanks!
Man has invented a lot of things besides vaccines. Cheetos is an abomination of Nature, for instance.
His counsel may counter that no one at WCVB required him to put Cheetos in his body.
Well, this lawyer has certainly found his niche.
From his website:
"Under attack by cancel culture in Massachusetts? Harmed by the COVID-19 lockdowns? Fed up with woke racial politics at school or work? We may be able to help you get justice and compensation."
He’s also a tremendous baby
He’s also a tremendous baby over masks to the point of writing multiple articles for The Federalist blaming his terrible cardio on a piece of cloth.
"Have antifa thugs smashed up
"Have antifa thugs smashed up your shop?" No, I think I can say with certainty, wherever your shop is and whoever may have smashed it up, it wasn't antifa, inasmuch as in the USA that's a thing that mainly exists in the imaginations of right-wingers.
(Expletive) your mythology.
Go F--K Yourself Buddy
YOU HAVE NO FUCKIN IDEA WHAT THIS IS LIKE. NONE.
The comparison isn't even close.. not EVEN close. You had a choice, you refused, and now you hide behind the scripture as an excuse for your poor choices.
No, jackass, wake me up when you've experienced the real treatment how people with AIDS, such as myself were treated long ago. Things like
- Being dismissed from a job because you were too sick to work
- Having family members not hug you
- Being told to use a seperate bathroom at relatives
- Being served food on dispoable plates and silverware because of other's fears
- Being dumped or deemed 'undateable' for years because of status
- Generally people not wanting to be near or around you
The last one may be similar, but you know what. I didn't have much of a choice in my status. You did buddy. You had a choice, and decided that believing some nonsensical garbage from online people was more important than your job... welp you did this to yourself.
The key here is CHOICE. You had a choice.
Fuck you. Fuck You. Fuck You. I am so tired of these people. They thought they could believe the Q none sense, and then fight getting a vaccine. They lost and now they think they can sue to get their job back.
I'd love to see one of the oppositing lawyers do a discovery to see how 'religious' these people are. I bet after some quick investigation that within days of filing a lawsuit, this person joined a church 'and found God'. *eye roll*.
Sorry I don't believe this religious exemption crap one bit. Its a ploy to win the case, nothing more. Once again some "Jesus loving" people hide behind the bible for their poor actions and decision making.
And it angers me that HIV/AIDS is brought up here, because I know what it is really like. I know what its like to be dismissed for a job, and what REALLY gets me is that... every single attorney I talked to wanted a 8k retainer to even talk to me. And yet these moronic fools can seem to find one OK.
Because I didn't have the $ for the retainer, I had no other choice than to look for new work and pray to God that the new place didn't want a reference check. i simply had to just move on because I didn't have the $ (or energy at the time, really) to fight this.
Must be nice to have the ability to do this. I didn't. And neither did Tom Hank's character in Philadephia, and so many other HIV+ folks who have faced real descrimination, not this.
They are all such drama royals
I'm sure in their privileged and spoiled little minds they are the most victimized and oppressed freedom fighters like ever! But every time they run their vapid mouths I get a Smiths earworm.
And now I know how Joan of Arc felt (now I know how Joan of Arc felt) as the flames rose to her Roman nose and her Walkman started to melt ...
Bigmouths strike again and they got no right to take their place in the human race!
I have to wonder if these whinging jerks have ever had answer for their behavior and choices at any time in their lives? Probably not - and I'd lay odds that they were among those persecuting people like you, claiming that mosquitoes spread HIV and it was God's will blah blah blah.
I could appoint you and this post a friend of the court and have it read into the official trial transcript.
UHub, bringing you the point
UHub, bringing you the point of view of the useful idiots since ________ (when was this site founded?)!
According to Wiki's "Timeline of Boston"
Which has notable points in city history dating back to the 17th century, Adam launched UHub in 2005
We need Peter Mehegan...
To gas up the old Chevy and drop this dude off in rural Maine
My favorite line is “his camera's focal length provided the social distance”. Now he’s a pro, so he may have some long lenses, 500mm, 600mm even. I don’t think 600mm is quite enough distance to provide protection. Now if this guy has a 6 foot lens, that’s something I would like to see.
That's what she said
I know this is a touchy
I know this is a touchy subject but I have an honest question. I'll add that I'm all for getting vaccinated and think it's unwise to not do so.
We know at this point the vaccine doesn't prevent infection but is highly effective at lessening the severity of symptoms. The whole argument in favor of a vaccine mandate is to achieve herd immunity but we know that's not possible. So, why do we care if this guys gets vaccinated or not? Hoping for some insights from a few frequent posters who seem highly knowledgeable. Thanks!
Unless he's a billionaire
I doubt that he's paying for his own healthcare.
He's also not providing his own healthcare.
If he dies and leaves dependents, then they get social security payments, life insurance payouts, etc. Those are socialized expenses as well.
Vaccines may also reduce transmission by infected but vaccinated people due to the reduced severity of the illness (viral load).
You’re opening up Pandora’s box
There are a lot of legal activities that could lead to consequences you describe, yet people don’t get fired for engaging in them.