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:
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.