Some employees who have refused to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in the Washington Nationals organization have been terminated, according to a report by Nationals beat writer Jesse Dougherty of The Washington Post. 

On Wednesday, Dougherty reported that the Nationals will begin terminating “multiple employees” who chose to not get the vaccine. 

“Sources: By the end of today, the Nationals plan to terminate contracts for multiple employees who did not comply with the vaccinate mandate implemented in August,” Dougherty posted to Twitter. “This includes Bob Boone, pitching coordinator Brad Holman and minor league pitching coach Larry Pardo.”

On August 14, the Nationals told non-playing employees that they had two weeks to provide proof of vaccination or apply for an exemption. 

“Like many organizations, the Washington Nationals decided to make COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for all full-time staff,” the Nationals said in a statement to ESPN. “Employees were notified of this policy on August 12 and had until August 26th to either provide proof of full vaccination, proof of first shot or apply for an exemption. As a company, we have a responsibility to do everything we can to keep one another safe and felt that mandating vaccines was the absolute right thing to do for our employees and our community.”

Dougherty continued to say that unvaccinated employees were placed on unpaid administrative leave on September 1. 

“On Sept. 1, the Nationals placed unvaccinated non-playing employees on unpaid admirative [sic] leave for two weeks, giving them time to review exemption requests. If, in that time, those employees changed their mind about getting vaccinated, they could have remained with the club,” Dougherty wrote. 

Two of the employees that have reportedly lost their jobs — Holman and Pardo — have threatened legal action. 

In a press release obtained by Outkick, the two former employees said that they are “filing complaints with the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission for violating their rights to free expression and observation of their sincerely held religious beliefs …”

According to the statement, both Holman and Pardo applied for a religious exemption but were told that it had been denied less than 36 hours after their written summary had been sent in. 

The organization forced them to choose “between being injected with a vaccine that violates their sincerely held religious beliefs” and getting fired, the statement reads.

“Larry and Brad made this decision after many hours of prayer. They could not and will not choose to take the vaccines even if it costs them their jobs, which it ultimately did. Any reports that Larry and Brad resigned from their positions with the Club are patently false,” reads the statement. 

Holman was the pitching coordinator for the Nationals while Pardo was a minor league pitching coach. Both have said that they retained the services of a law firm.

The COVID-19 vaccine has become a polarizing topic as institutions around the country grapple with mandates. Just last week, President Joe Biden announced that all companies with over 100 employees must require their employees get vaccinated or submit to weekly COVID-19 tests.

Businesses that do not comply with the new order will face fines of up to $14,000 per violation.

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