PJI Wins Settlement in Religious Discrimination Case Against the City of Seattle, Securing Justice for Arborist

Seattle, WA—Pacific Justice Institute has achieved a significant triumph against the severe discrimination that numerous residents of Washington State have faced in recent years. The COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent vaccination mandates forced thousands of Christians out of their job. The policies introduced by the Governor, the City of Seattle, and other authorities pressured Washington residents, compelling them to compromise their deeply-held beliefs and their autonomy in making medical decisions.

David Body, a Washington resident and hard-working City of Seattle employee with a stellar working record faced this discrimination. In October 2021, the city of Seattle required all employees to vaccinate unless they obtained a religious or medical exemption. All employees had been working with accommodations of masking and testing as a requirement for 18 months prior. This procedure had proven safe and effective in protecting employees and the public; however, when David—who worked outdoors—requested the same accommodation, he was denied and subsequently terminated. David approached PJI for representation, and PJI eagerly responded to bring the City’s discriminatory actions to light.

PJI Washington attorney, Tracy Tribbett, teamed up with PJI affiliate attorney Jonathan Cherne. Through the discovery process, it became evident that the City could have readily accommodated David and was, in fact, involved in religious discrimination. Rather than going to trial, the parties reached a financial settlement that included a mandate for the City of Seattle to provide training to its employees on religious liberties and anti-discrimination policies.

Tracey Tribbett said, “It is an honor to help fellow Christians who lost so much while exercising their faith, and to hold the employers accountable for their blatant discriminatory actions.”

President and Founder of PJI Brad Dacus added, “Our attorney Tracey Tribbett, did an excellent job of representing our client, and hopefully, other city governments will take note and learn that anti-religious discrimination will not go unchallenged as we continue to represent thousands of people across the country who are similarly being discriminated against.”

PJI is proud to represent our brother in Christ, David. He has held fast to his faith and his desire to protect religious liberties under the law.

We are proud to say that, for over 25 years and always without charge, PJI’s unique goal is to ensure that no one is left on the side of the road as it relates to their representation and defense of critical religious freedoms, parental rights and sanctity of life issues. We appreciate your partnership, and willingness to continue to give support and a strong voice to those who struggle against the forces of oppression.