Fired Texas Nurse Settles Religious Beliefs Case Against CVS

CVS Pharmacy | Image by Sundry Photography/Shutterstock
CVS Pharmacy | Image by Sundry Photography/Shutterstock

A complaint brought forth by a nurse that CVS fired in 2021 for refusing to prescribe hormonal contraceptives due to her religious beliefs has been settled in her favor.

Robyn Strader, a nurse practitioner who worked for a CVS MinuteClinic in Keller for over six years, was represented by First Liberty Institute (FLI), a non-profit legal organization, and Boyden Gray PLLC. The groups orchestrated the settlement with CVS Health Corporation and MinuteClinic LLC on Strader’s behalf, the details of which were not publicly disclosed.

Strader filed her complaint in a federal district court in Fort Worth in January 2023 after bringing her case to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission a year earlier. The complaint claimed that CVS had violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act by terminating Strader for abiding by her religious beliefs.

“I am a Christian and a longtime member of a Baptist Church. I believe that all human life is created in God’s image and should be protected. For this reason, I cannot participate in facilitating an abortion or participate in facilitating contraceptive use that could prevent the implantation of an embryo, cause an abortion, or contribute to infertility,” she explained in a statement, per FLI.

CVS alleged that Strader had never requested an exemption on religious grounds and, at any rate, the company does not exempt employees from fulfilling “essential MinuteClinic functions,” Michael DeAngelis, a spokesperson, told CBS News.

In a statement to CBN News, DeAngelis claimed, “[W]e have a well-defined process in place for employees to request and be granted a reasonable accommodation due to their religious beliefs unless it poses an undue hardship on the business and our ability to provide convenient, accessible care to our patients.”

Strader contends that the company had previously granted her religious accommodation upon her hiring. Her complaint describes how her firing came after MinuteClinic changed its policies in 2021 and required employees to prescribe contraceptives without consideration of religious beliefs. She nonetheless submitted several requests for an exemption on religious grounds to no avail.

Reacting to the settlement, those who represented Strader underscored its significance for making “companies across the country … recognize the religious liberty of their employees and work to protect those rights,” as Stephanie Taub, senior counsel for FLI, said, per CBN News.

“Respecting the religious beliefs of workers and providing reasonable accommodations is not optional under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. We are pleased for Robyn,” added Jonathan Berry, managing partner at Boyden Gray PLLC.

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