2 former Mayo Clinic employees sue for wrongful termination

Shelly Kiel of Owatonna and Sherry Ihde are just two to file. Both invoke religious discrimination.

“I can assure you that even more would want to sue,” attorney Gregory Erickson said, “they come to us because they feel discriminated against. They’ve seen the people who have been granted religious exemptions and they frankly don’t understand the difference between them and those who received exemptions.”

Their lawyer, Gregory Erickson, said the cases could take up to a year or more to come to trial.

The Mayo Clinic responded in a statement:

Mayo Clinic strongly supports the evidence supporting the effectiveness and safety of COVID-19 vaccines to help protect the health and safety of our patients, staff, visitors, and communities. The Mayo Clinic COVID-19 vaccination schedule remains in effect.

The Mayo Clinic will defend the implementation of its vaccination program and will challenge numerous factual claims in the lawsuit.

The Mayo Clinic acknowledges that some employees have deeply held religious beliefs that have led them to request an exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination. In accordance with established laws, Mayo has offered its employees the opportunity to request religious accommodation. The majority of requests for religious exemption have been granted.

Mayo Clinic has implemented a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination program for all staff to advance Mayo Clinic’s core value – the needs of the patient come first. Based on science and data, COVID-19 vaccinations prevent hospitalizations and save lives among those infected with COVID-19. That’s true for everyone in our communities — and it’s especially true for the many patients with serious or complex illnesses who seek care at Mayo Clinic every day.

The Mayo Clinic will not comment further on ongoing litigation.