Former ESPN reporter Allison Williams and producer Beth Faber are suing Disney and ESPN over the company’s vaccine mandate.
BREAKING: @AllisonW_Sports and @faberb jointly file lawsuit in Connecticut against @espn and @Disney, advancing 14 causes of action stemming from their 2021 terminations after refusing to get the Covid vaccine.
The plaintiffs had applied for religious exemptions but were denied. pic.twitter.com/F1cLaYCKcU
— Jason Morrin (@Jason_Morrin) January 11, 2023
Both allege they had religious exemptions denied and their employment was terminated by the company.
You can view the full 83 page complaint here.
In the suit, Faber alleges she was told “maybe God has led you to a new career, when God closes a door, he opens another” by Julie Walden of Employee Relations when seeking a religious exemption. The suit also claims “ESPN conjured up a burden that simply did not exist and one that did not jibe with reality” when it came to accommodating Faber.
As for Williams, the suit states she initially applied for an “exemption from vaccination on grounds of disability” due to in vitro fertilization. Weeks later, she applied for a religious exemption, which was denied and led to her exit from the company.
The lawsuit goes on to claim Disney’s actions were “state action,” alleging the company “has a symbiotic relationship with the Defense Department.”
Faber and Williams are seeking “compensatory damages, including but not limited to damages for emotional pain and suffering; awarding reputational damages; awarding Plaintiffs punitive damages; awarding Plaintiffs pre- and post-judgment interest; awarding Plaintiffs reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs; and awarding such other and further relief as the Court deems just and proper” on 14 causes of action. They also “demand a trial by jury on all issues.”
Last April, Sage Steele sued ESPN and Disney, alleging the company breached her contract and violated “rights to free speech” over comments about the company’s vaccine mandate and Barack Obama’s black father. ESPN filed a motion to dismiss in June, and while they weren’t dismissed from the suit, Disney was dismissed from the suit in October.