13 former Allegheny County employees file lawsuit after being fired for refusing COVID vaccine

More than a dozen people say their constitutional rights were violated when they were fired from the county for not getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

They’re asking for hundreds of thousand dollars in damages.

One year ago, Shane Chesher was fired from Allegheny County for refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine, after his religious exemption was denied.

Since then, he and 12 other people have filed a federal lawsuit against the county, claiming that they were wrongfully fired.

Last year the county decided to mandate the vaccine for all employees, and if they didn’t get it, they would be fired by Dec. 1, 2021.

That’s exactly what happened to Chesher.

The basis of the lawsuit claims he and the other former employees were put through public shaming, forced to release private medical information and were not granted a religious exemption.

“We are saying to the county, you fired us, and we are going on offense back at you guys,” Chesher explained. “We believe you violated our rights, and we are going to settle this in court.”

A county spokesperson said they do not comment on legal matters.

The former employees are filing this lawsuit pro se, which means they are acting as their own attorneys.

A local defense attorney weighs on how that could impact the lawsuit.

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