United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
RODNEY G. PREWITT, Plaintiff,
WALGREENS COMPANY, Defendant
For Rodney G. Prewitt, Plaintiff: JOHN A. GALLAGHER, LEAD ATTORNEY, GALLAGHER LAW GROUP PC, Berwyn, PA USA.
For Walgreens Company, Defendant: AMIR JONAH VONSOVER, MORGAN LEWIS & BOCKIUS, Philadelphia, PA USA; MICHAEL J. OSSIP, MORGAN LEWIS & BOCKIUS LLP, Philadelphia, PA USA.
LAWRENCE F. STENGEL, J.
Rodney Prewitt was employed as a pharmacist at Walgreens. He was demoted and then terminated after voicing a moral objection to vaccinating customers. He claims Walgreens discriminated and retaliated against him because of his age. Walgreens now moves for summary judgment. For the reasons explained below, I will grant this motion and enter judgment in favor of Walgreens.
On August 21, 2006, Rodney Prewitt was hired by Walgreens as a full-time salaried pharmacist. He was 57 at that time. He
was assigned to work at the Walgreens store in Oxford, PA on either the day or evening shift. The Oxford store is about eight miles from the plaintiff's home. At the Oxford store, Mr. Prewitt was one of two full-time pharmacists, the other being Karen Schneider. Prewitt and Schneider rotated shifts bi-weekly so that weekend shifts were covered. A third pharmacist Ann Green worked part-time. Typically, two of the three pharmacists worked each day with their shifts overlapping between 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. Only two shifts were available for pharmacists at the Oxford store to work because the store was not open twenty-four hours like other Walgreens stores.
a. Prewitt's Moral Objection to Immunizing
In or around 2009, Walgreens began offering customers the flu vaccine, among others, at the Oxford store. The plaintiff was morally opposed to administering the flu vaccine because a close friend of his had contracted Guillain-Barre Syndrome after receiving a flu vaccine. His friend become paralyzed and died of complications from the disease. The plaintiff believed that there was medical evidence to
substantiate such risks of flu vaccines. He did not want to be responsible for putting his patients at risk. The plaintiff voiced his objection to his store manager. He was permitted to not administer flu vaccines. When customers asked for an immunization, he would refer them to ...