Florida orchestra is sued for firing Covid non-vax musicians

Florida orchestra is sued for firing Covid non-vax musicians


norman lebrecht

September 23, 2022

Three musicians who were fired by the Naples Philharmonic for not receiving the COVID-19 vaccine are now suing in a federal court, citing a recent beneficial change in Florida law.

The plaintiff musicians, Ashley Leigh, Erik Berg and James Griffith, claim religious exemption from vaccination.

Report here.


  • Anthony Sayer says:

    Good for them.

  • tet says:

    Viruses are not real, Noah didn’t mention he took a pair of them, make and female, onto his ark, and even if they were real, they all drowned in the flood, and even if two swam safely to shore, if God wanted man to be vaccinated, He would’ve put it in the Ten Commandments.

  • Anonymous says:

    I hope that they win.

  • E Rand says:

    Good! I look forward to a massive pushback against all institutions who did this.

    • Hayne says:

      It’s just starting. Let’s not forget litigation against musicians’ unions for failure to represent.

      • Anon! A Moose! says:

        Failure to represent? My local represented just fine, in that they were on the side of workplace safety, as they should be.

        • Hayne says:

          A union owes a duty of fair representation tp ALL of the members it represents. This duty requires that the union act fairly, impartially, and without ill will or discrimination when pursuing a worker’s grievance. The union is REQUIRED to take reasonable steps to investigate a grievance and must represent members in more than a dismissive manner. It is illegal for a union to treat
          you in ways that are:
          or in bad faith

          Recently, Manhattan Supreme Court judge tossed out the ridiculous NYC vaccine mandates and ordered ALL unvaccinated police to be reinstated. The NYPD union represented their members. The musicians’ union(s) should be very worried about what will come. It’s their own fault.

  • Herbie G says:

    Which religion is it that prohibits vaccinations?

  • TNVol says:

    Perfect. Hope they win.

  • Bea says:

    And what does Mr. Ivan Fischer have to do with ANY of this? Why post his photo?

  • Alan says:

    Religious exemptions. The last refuge of the total scoundrel.

    • Billy says:

      How is one a “scoundrel” for not accepting the premise that they must take an mRNA gene therapy injection developed in a year (which for marketing purposes has been called a “vaccine” so that people are more likely to roll up their sleeves and not ask questions) in order to make a living?

  • Couperin says:

    Three morons in Florida. News at 11.

  • Max Raimi says:

    For the first four score and seven years of the United States, slavery was justified on the basis of religious belief. If you are not vaccinated, our best data indicate that you are somewhat more likely to become ill, far more likely to become seriously ill, and thus more likely to infect your colleagues, forcing them to miss work as well. It seems inarguable that it is in an institution’s interest to have their employees vaccinated. Unfortunately, a significant chunk of our populace has gone mad. And they are well represented in the Slipped Disc comments.

    • trumpetherald says:

      Well said.

    • Hayne says:

      Thank you, Mr. Rami for your illustrative example of
      mass formation psychosis.

    • SVM says:

      Actually, the preponderance of evidence suggests that COVID-19 vaccinations do NOT reduce the spread of the virus. And even if there were overwhelming evidence of these vaccinations reducing the spread, it would still be an unethical violation of bodily autonomy to mandate vaccination as a condition of engagement. Almost all medical interventions carry some risk of adverse side-effects; it is for each individual to make his/her own decision as to whether the likely benefits of an intervention are sufficient to warrant the risks.

    • Couperin says:

      Totally agree on this one ! Thank you Mr. Raimi

    • lol says:

      But if you’re vaccinated you have nothing to worry about, right? And as for science, you need to read more deeply.

    • Anonymous says:

      Equating advocates of slavery to people who don’t consent to unwanted medical experimentation is bizarre, incongruous and highly offensive.

      You are obviously unaware of the fact that many states in this country have legislation in their respective constitutions that protect people from being forced to undergo medical “care.” If you are going to pepper your comments with fragments of former Illinois congressman Abraham Lincoln’s oratory, perhaps it would behoove you to read the Illinois Constitution. If you did, you would find that your home state has in place legislation that protects its inhabitants not only from forced medical “care,” but also their right to refuse said care without suffering discrimination.

      The 745 ILCS 70/Health Care Right of Conscience Act states that “…It is the public policy of the State of Illinois to respect and protect the right of conscience of all persons who refuse to obtain, receive or accept…health care services and medical care…and to prohibit all forms of discrimination, disqualification, coercion, disability or imposition of liability upon such persons or entities by reason of their refusing to act contrary to their conscience or conscientious convictions in…refusing to obtain, receive, accept, pay for…health care services and medical care.”

      This is not just unique to Illinois. Article 1, Section 21 of the Ohio State Constitution for all intents and purposes states the same, and §2442 of New York PHL has provisions for protection of patients regarding informed consent, for example.

      Since you decided to cite slavery: the unfortunate people who were sold into slavery were brought here against their will and thereby had no agency.

      Agitating for the expulsion of your colleagues from the industry because they refuse to submit to medical experimentation, thereby denying their right to bodily autonomy without fear of retaliation, sounds to me like modern-day slavery.

      There are laws in place now to protect us from human rights abuses. Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

  • Tamino says:

    …the land of the freeeee…

  • Alan Glick says:

    Should have named the Naples Philharmonic in the headline to avoid confusion. There is an orchestra based in the Tampa Bay area called, “The Florida Orchestra.”

  • Imbrod says:

    Vax, masks, and frequent testing remain standard on SAG sets, enforced by Union-mandated COVID compliance officers. Too much money is at stake if a production halts, and top screen talent isn’t replaceable, unlike a 4th desk second violin. @LazarusLong13 on Twitter has collected interesting testimony from folks in an industry with higher stakes than a regional orchestra. (But perhaps there aren’t many films or series made in Florida these days)

  • Guest123 says:

    I know you read these comments, Norman. Are you really not going to curate the comments? It is worse than truth social. This anti-vaxx rhetoric is not just unfounded but also deeply dangerous.

  • Chill says:

    What about religious positions of others in orchestra whos religion prohibits them to work with those who rejected vaccination?!
    Why would state of mind of 3 people dominate over state of mind of the rest in that orchestra?