Lawrence Pardo, Brad Holman Sue Washington Nationals over COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVNovember 22, 2021

CINCINNATI, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 23: A detail view of a Washington Nationals hat in the dugout during the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on September 23, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Two former employees of the Washington Nationals are suing the team over its COVID-19 vaccine mandate, according to TMZ Sports.

Lawrence Pardo and Brad Holman, who coached in Washington's minor league system, said they didn't want to take the vaccine on religious grounds, which were denied by the Nationals. As a result, they were no longer employed by the organization.

The Washington Post's Jesse Dougherty reported in September the two had filed a complaint with the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission:

Jesse Dougherty @dougherty_jesse

In a statement sent to the Washington Post this morning, Brad Holman and Larry Pardo said they refuse to take the vaccine because "they are developed from and/or tested with aborted fetal cells." They filed a religious exemption with the Nationals that was denied.

In August, the Nationals informed their staffers they'd be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Bob Boone, the team's vice president, resigned instead of following the organizational requirement.

Unlike Boone, Holman and Pardo didn't voluntarily resign.

They said in a statement to Dougherty that Washington "pretended to offer Larry and Brad a chance to lay out their religious beliefs and request to be exempted from the requirements, which they did." The exemption wasn't granted.

The team reportedly deemed their beliefs to be sincere but didn't feel comfortable granting the exemption because of how it could put other employees at risk.

Dougherty also explained how Holman and Pardo's concerns about the vaccines were misplaced. Pfizer and Moderna didn't use fetal cells to develop their vaccines, while Johnson & Johnson used lab-replicated fetal cells rather than aborted fetal DNA.