CVS Health

A Northern Virginia nurse practitioner sued CVS Health Wednesday, claiming her employer fired her for declining to provide abortion-inducing medication citing religious beliefs.  

The lawsuit, filed in Prince William County Circuit Court, states that for the first three years of Paige Casey’s employment, she was given a religious accommodation allowing her to refuse to prescribe or administer abortion-causing drugs.

Casey, who worked at the MinuteClinic in Alexandria since 2018, submitted a CVS Health’s Request for Religious Belief or Practice Accommodation form in 2019, according to the suit. 

The form stated that “as a practicing Roman Catholic, she is prohibited from prescribing or facilitating the use of a drug or device that prevents or can prevent implantation of a fertilized egg.” 

The company granted her the accommodation and did not require Casey to prescribe or administer hormonal contraception or any other abortion-causing drug or device. 

However, in August 2021, the company announced it “would no longer accommodate employees with religious convictions against prescribing abortifacients, hormonal contraceptives, and other forms of birth control that can cause abortions.” 

In January 2022, the company sent a letter to Casey explicitly informing her that it would no longer accommodate her religious beliefs. 

According to the suit, company officials notified Casey of her termination on March 29– the same day she emailed company officials to reassert her religious convictions against prescribing the drugs. 

Conservative nonprofit Alliance Defending Freedom is representing Casey. In a news release, the organization said CVS violated Virginia’s Conscience Clause, which “prohibits employers from discriminating against employees who refuse to participate in providing abortifacients because of their religious or ethical beliefs.”

Michael DeAngelis, a spokesperson with CVS Health, told InsideNoVa that it has a well-defined process for employees to request and be granted reasonable accommodations for their religious beliefs, but it’s impossible to give accommodations that exempt employees from performing the essential functions of their job. 

“As we continue to enhance our MinuteClinic services, educating and treating patients regarding sexual health matters – including pregnancy prevention, sexually transmitted infection prevention, screening and treatment, and safer sex practices – have become essential job functions of our providers and nurses,” DeAngelis said. 

Casey is seeking $100,000 in compensatory damages (including lost wages, front pay and back pay), punitive damages and nominal damages. 

The case was filed in Prince William County because the defendant "regularly conduct[s] substantial business activity" there, according to the lawsuit.

 

Acacia James covers Fairfax County with a focus on affordable housing, access to transportation and other issues affecting underserved communities. 

(15) comments

John Dutko

Also the law says:

"Nothing in §§ 18.2-72, 18.2-73 or § 18.2-74 shall require a hospital or other medical facility or physician to admit any patient under the provisions hereof for the purpose of performing an abortion. In addition, any person who shall state in writing an objection to any abortion or all abortions on personal, ethical, moral or religious grounds shall not be required to participate in procedures which will result in such abortion, and the refusal of such person, hospital or other medical facility to participate therein shall not form the basis of any claim for damages on account of such refusal or for any disciplinary or recriminatory action against such person, nor shall any such person be denied employment because of such objection or refusal. The written objection shall remain in effect until such person shall revoke it in writing or terminate his association with the facility with which it is filed."

No procedures were being conducted at CVS. This lady is a pharmacist, not a physician. She refused to provide/sell medication. She refused to perform her duties in an at-will state.

CVS gave her a chance, then she willfully became a liability for the company.

John Dutko

See here's the thing: as an employee you cannot hide behind personal beliefs and expect your corporate office to shield you from litigation.

Since religion is essentially a club with made up rules and wickey-woo mantras, I could claim that as a (insert opposing religion here) that this employee is infringing on my set of beliefs. And I would be more than happy to take CVS to court for that.

If the employee cannot fulfil the basic function of dispensing medication, then they can find another occupation.

Dick Grayson

Sort of like someone who does not want to cut, cover or even wash their hair or beard even though they may work in food service! Or some clown kneeling although the business is view negatively?? Just asking’

John Dutko

Or classify a group of people as infidels and straight up kill them. Jihad is technically a religious edict.

I mean, how violent do you want to get?

Point is, people in the medical field should not dictate their beliefs upon others.

Paul Benedict

Businesses that discriminate against people with certain religious beliefs should not be allowed to contract with the federal government or receive any form of government funds, directly or indirectly, such as Medicare and Medicaid Services. Perhaps you are unfamiliar with the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution.

John Dutko

Read what you wrote.

As an employee, this Roman Catholic enforced her beliefs on someone else. As a representative of the company, CVS then violated the customers belief system and sets up a nice lawsuit.

With over 45,000 sects of Christianity alone, do you honestly think a religious argument will hold up?

How bout if I said, as a Jew, that this Roman Catholic definitively violated MY beliefs as a fetus is not a human life.

Hell, in America, I do not require a religion according to James Madison. My conviction alone should suffice. Have you ever done any civics lessons?

Larry Lyons

You do realize Paul that abortion is sanctioned in the Bibl - see Numbers 5: 11. Moreover it doesn't consider the fetus to be alive until after it has taken its first breath. That is mentioned about 300 times in the Old Testament. It doesn't say Conception, or 3 weeks, or months, it states quite specifically after the baby is born. Actually the baby isn't even valued until a month after birth.

Paul Benedict

The hate-filled intolerant left loves abortion. It's a big money maker.

John Dutko

That's precisely why Republican candidates are now flip-flopping on their positions? The whole pro-choice movement is by a vocal minority. And now women see how easy it is to lose their rights of bodily autonomy.

But I secretly love the fact the Southern states embraced the banning so quick right before the midterms. And how there will be a generation of unwanted children who will grow up (maybe) and get involved in the criminal elements (probably). Not to mention the hospital deserts in red states. Hell yeah!

And that whole adoption argument? Nah fam, that's BS.

If it was a valid point, then there wouldn't be a trainwreck of foster kids being run around in a crappy system.

Y'all didn't think this through. And it's gonna bite y'all in the ass.

Dick Grayson

I am sure if a pro baby killer worked for a pregnancy counseling center and did not want to give positive advice about abortion alternatives they would still have their job! This lady’s beliefs just don’t fit the narrative

John Dutko

That worker would have a horrible retention rating and probably be let go anyway. Most Pregnancy counseling centers are religious in nature and not actual medical. They put on a front.

So maybe it can be a god war at that business.

Woden would beat the snot out of Jesus.

Larry Lyons

What babies? At the stage that the pills are effective, the fetus is barely a collection of undifferentiated cells.

Paul Benedict

As usual you are uninformed, or pretending to be uninformed. You meant to say Pro-Life, not Pro-Choice. But most liberals are not Pro Choice. Many of your kind are out bombing and vandalizing Pro-Life centers. Most Democrats voted to allow abortion right up to the moment of birth, a vile barbaric stance out of touch even with most liberals.

There are way more people looking to adopt young children (toddlers and babies) than children available for adoption. Part of the problem is government officials frown on white people adopting Black children. They would rather see Black kids bounce around from one foster family to another foster family than be adopted by a loving white couple. And that is the truth.

There are a lot of older kids that bounce around foster homes. But, even when white people want to adopt older Black children the powers that be strongly discourage it. I guess they are afraid they might end up like Colin Kaepernick, stupider than heck.

Idaho and North Dakota are not southern states.

John Dutko

Idaho and North Dakota sure act like it.

I want you to justify the case of the raped 10 year old in Ohio who had to cross state lines to get an abortion.

I want you to justify the woman who has to carry a fetus to term that has no head.

I want you to justify ectopic pregnancies.

These are some of the real-world cases going on RIGHT NOW, not theoretical, that have turned voters away from Republicans. And those Republican candidates are backtracking because they know they messed up.

Take your retired USGS butt back to school.

Larry Lyons

Do you have any other arguments other than insults? Try a reasoned argument for once? You'll be surprised at the reaction.

Welcome to the discussion.

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