New Hampshire National Guard member fills a syringe with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Exeter, N.H

An attorney representing more than 50 workers at Riverside Healthcare in Kankakee said the latest changes to the Health Care Right of Conscience Act will not halt his cases.

The amendment to the Health Care Right of Conscience Act, approved by lawmakers and signed by the governor, clarifies the HCRCA and is intended to keep the workplace safe, Pritzker said.

“Masks, vaccines, and testing requirements are lifesaving measures that keep our workplaces and communities safe,” Pritzker said. “Keeping workplaces safe is a high priority.”

The amendment comes on the heels of lawsuits filed by health care workers across the state. Daniel Suhr of the Liberty Justice Center is currently representing 56 workers in a case against Riverside Healthcare in Kankakee.

Suhr said his clients still plan to fight.

“Our team is really invested in fighting this illegal OSHA mandate, that affects not only workers across Illinois but also workers across the country.”

Suhr’s clients have all claimed religious exemptions in regards to the vaccine mandate but have been met with a denial by the health center and now face termination, they alleged in court documents.

Suhr said that the Healthcare Right of Conscience Act amendment may not be applicable to his cases with Riverside.

“It will still be a number of months before this new amended version goes into effect,” Suhr said. “We may have to figure out at that point how it will impact our case if our case is even still going on.”

Without the constitutional supermajority, the amendment will not go into effect until June 1, 2022, which means LJC and its clients will continue on with their lawsuit.

Suhr said he and his clients believe that what happened to them is wrong and they will continue the fight against Riverside Healthcare.

“There are many constitutional and statutory problems with this order,” Suhr said. “We are confident that the 5th circuit or another court will act in the near future and strike it down.”

Riverside Healthcare in Kankakee did not return a request for comment.

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