Two former employees of ABC’s soap, General Hospital, are suing the network for what they believe was a wrongful termination, an article by Deadline reports. Jim Wahl and Timothy Wahl – father and son – were fired from the long-airing daytime series for failure to comply with ABC’s covid vaccine mandate last year. The two have brought an additional four other complaints in their suit against the Disney-owned network.
The Wahls filed in LA court yesterday citing the company’s vaccine mandate was “unconstitutional” and that “ABC does not have the authority to force a medical treatment on its employees against their will,” via Deadline. Their complaint continued to claim the company gave no other reason for its decision to terminate their employment other than the employer was “unable to conclude that you are prevented from receiving the Covid-19 vaccine due to a sincerely-held religious belief, practice, or observance.” The full complaint can be read here.
According to Deadline, the elder Wahl was the manager of the construction and special effects department. A position he held for 14 years on the show which has over 14,000 episodes. His son has worked as a member of the same department for a decade. In addition to citing the mandate as unconstitutional, the duo’s lawyers claim ABC religiously discriminated against their clients.
“It cannot discriminate among religions and cannot second-guess the sincerity of one’s religious beliefs without an objective basis for doing so,” the official complaint details from attorneys Scott J. Street, John W. Howard and Michelle Volk, via Deadline. “It did not have one here. ABC’s actions constitute religious discrimination and violate Plaintiffs’ rights under state law.”
Ironically, Street, Howard, and Volk are also representing former General Hospital actor, Ingo Rademacher (Alex Cross), who is seeking his own lawsuit against ABC for wrongful termination for the same alleged offense. Rademacher filed in December of 2021. His case is now set for a February 2023 trial date. Rademacher was the second actor let go for failing to comply with the series’ vaccine mandate after Steve Burton.
ABC and Disney have yet to issue a statement regarding the Wahls’ suit.