New St. Peter’s oncologist part of appeal against COVID-19 policy

PHIL DRAKE

The newly hired oncologist and hematologist at St. Peter’s Health is part of a legal action asking U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to keep her former employer from enforcing a COVID-19 vaccination policy pending their appeal to a lower court.

Dr. Elizabeth Bigger is among the eight people known as “Together Employees,” named in the emergency application writ of injunction pending appeal filed Tuesday with the U.S. Supreme Court against Mass General Brigham Inc., a Massachusetts-based health care provider.

Efforts to reach Bigger on Wednesday were unsuccessful.

Together Employees, which consists of more than 200 employees, said the vaccine mandate violated their “sincerely held religious beliefs or places them in significant physical or mental danger.” They also note mandatory vaccine policies are “blatant violations” of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Title VII, which is part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin.

“Failure to do so would result in the de facto removal of an employer’s burden of showing actual undue hardship, leaving only a lip-service approach to religious and disability accommodation,” the application states.

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