A lawsuit filed in federal court claims that a former local TV anchor was discriminated against because of her religious views.

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According to the legal filing, longtime morning anchor, Deanna Falzone says that she was not allowed to claim a religious exemption to a Covid-19 vaccine policy which ultimately led to her dismissal.

Deanna Falzone/Facebook
Deanna Falzone/Facebook
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What Happened to Deanna Falzone at Fox 17?

Falzone announced her exit remotely and via YouTube on December 2nd, 2021.

The lawsuit states that Falzone was not allowed a religious exemption to the Scripps Media, parent company of Fox 17, vaccine policy that required staffers to be vaccinated by December of 2021.

Deanna Falzone/Facebook
Deanna Falzone/Facebook
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Some Catholics have tried to get the exemption despite church leaders' directives that the vaccine is 'morally permissible' for church members.

Falzone's exit followed a spate of exits from the station in the latter half of 2021, including Falzone's former on-air partner Mike Avery, anchor Ryan Cummings & sports reporter Zach Harig.

Mike Avery/Facebook
Mike Avery/Facebook
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According to the Grand Rapids Press Falzone is joined in the lawsuit by two other employees, both former salespeople for the station. David Price who also was denied a religious exemption, and Claudette Lozano, who says she was fired for defending her coworkers.

The lawsuit states that Falzone and her co-workers were given an unreasonable barrier to 'prove' their religious exemptions:

Employees who submitted religious accommodation requests were made to overcome a presumption against the sincerity of their beliefs when sincerity should have been presumed. -Attorney Noah Hurwitz

In a statement to MLive, Michael Perry, a member of the Scripps Communication teams said that all requests were vetted by the company:

Employees had the option to go through an accommodation process. A review team carefully and thoughtfully went through all applications for exemptions, some of which were accepted and some of which were denied.

 

At this time Falzone has not made a public statement on the lawsuit.

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