Cedars Sinai Medical Center
Cedars Sinai Medical Center. MyNewsLA.com photo by John Schreiber.

A former Cedars-Sinai Medical Center employee is suing the hospital, alleging she was fired in 2021 for objecting on religious grounds to the facility’s mandatory employee requirement to take the flu vaccine, which she says contains pork products.

Plaintiff Myesha Tarvin also maintains a neck injury she suffered played a role in her firing. Her Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit alleges wrongful termination, disability and religious discrimination and failure to accommodate. She seeks unspecified damages in the suit brought Monday.

“Plaintiff was devastated by the termination of her employment,” the suit states.

A Cedars-Sinai spokesman said Tuesday that management does not comment on pending litigation.

Tarvin, a 43-year-old Seventh-Day Adventist, does not eat pork or any products that contain the meat, the suit states. She worked for 11 years as a Cedars-Sinai senior administrative assistant and in 2020 management required employees to receive flu vaccinations, the suit states. With the help of her pastor, Tarvin asked for a religious exemption because the flu vaccine has pork products, according to the suit.

However, Tarvin’s request was denied and she was forced to receive the flu vaccine, according to the suit.

In 2021, Tarvin was under a mandate to receive both the flu vaccine and the coronavirus shot, the suit states. She again asked for an exemption on religious grounds for the flu vaccine, according to the suit. Her request was denied and she was put on leave last Sept. 30, then fired on Oct. 5, according to the suit.

The plaintiff also believes a neck injury she suffered in April 2021 influenced management’s decision to fire her, the suit states.

The stable employment Tarvin had with Cedars-Sinai “was taken away from her instantly” and she has had a hard time finding comparable employment, the suit states. Tarvin’s loss of her job has affected her financially and emotionally, according to the suit.

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