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Pharmacist Claims He Was Fired For Refusing To Sell Plan B

Pharmacist Claims He Was Fired For Refusing To Sell Plan B

CREATED Feb 14, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Tennessee pharmacist claims he was fired from his job after refusing to sell the morning-after pill.

A federal lawsuit was filed earlier this week in the Middle District of Tennessee on behalf of Pharmacist Dr. Philip Hall against the Walgreen Company.

The lawsuit claims Walgreens fired Hall in August 2013 weeks after a change in U.S. Food and Drug Administration rules allowing Plan B to be sold over the counter. Before July 1, the drug had been available only behind pharmacy counters.

Hall, a practicing Baptist, had worked for six years as a pharmacist at a store in Jamestown. Prior to his firing, he said the company had respected his religious beliefs and allowed him to follow the company's protocol for dispensing the drug. That protocol allowed him to ask another pharmacist to dispense drugs such as Plan B.

After the implementation of new FDA protocols in August, Hall reiterated to his superiors his religious objections to selling the drug and followed up with a call to the employee relations department at Walgreens' corporate headquarters to express his concerns.

A month later, Hall claimed he was questioned by his superiors about how he would treat a request for the drug. He said he told them he would continue to ask for another pharmacist to dispense it, and he claims he was fired on the spot.

Hall said in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Nashville that he finds the drug "sinful and repugnant to his sincerely held religious beliefs."

"It is illegal for Walgreens to attempt to force employees like Dr. Hall to dispense certain drugs in violation of their religious and moral beliefs," stated Jocelyn Floyd, attorney with the Thomas More Society. "Especially after six years of settled store practices showed that Walgreens could reasonably accommodate Dr. Hall's religious beliefs with no difficulties."

A handful of other pharmacists across the nation have filed similar lawsuits over the sale of the drug.

Read the Federal Complaint filed in the Middle District of Tennessee here

(The Associated Press Contributed To This Report.)