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Major League Baseball scout sues Washington Nationals over vaccine mandate termination

Benny Gallo is being represented by the Thomas More Society in the suit.

Published: April 20, 2022 1:40pm

Updated: April 20, 2022 3:08pm

A longtime Major League Baseball scout is suing the Washington Nationals baseball organization for firing him over his refusal to receive a COVID-19 vaccine due to religious objections.

Bernard "Benny" Gallo, who is being represented by Thomas More Society attorneys, filed suit on Wednesday in D.C. federal court over his August 2021 termination. 

Gallo, whose religious exemption was denied by the MLB club, is seeking to have his position reinstated and backpay awarded. Upon his firing, Gallo not only lost his job, but also his position as vice president of the Southern California Scouts Association. 

One of Gallo's attorneys, Charles LiMandri, points out that though Gallo was required to be vaccinated by August 26, 2021, team players were advised but not required to do the same. 

"The dismissal of Mr. Gallo and the denial of his request for a religious exemption is discriminatory and unlawful," LiMandri said. "The Nationals continued to employ others – including another scout – who requested and received similar accommodations for medical reasons.

Furthermore, argues LiMandri, the accommodations Gallo sought were no different than the practices the Nationals implemented before and after vaccines became widely available.

"The Nationals did not, and cannot, show why continuing to do what they had already been doing was an undue hardship," he said. "Furthermore, only a few months after Mr. Gallo was denied an accommodation and terminated, the MLB now is no longer even imposing regular COVID-19 testing; opting to test only symptomatic employees."

According to his attorneys, Gallo expressed a willingness to wear a mask in close quarters, test weekly and continue to take good care of his health. Medical testing also determined that Gallo has natural immunity to the virus. 

"Mr. Gallo’s beliefs regarding the sanctity of his physical body and obligation to take care of it are those of a devout Christian,
 LiMandri said. "Additionally, Mr. Gallo’s pro-life beliefs require that he to inject into his body a vaccine that is in any way connected with taking the life of another human being through abortion, a condition that he has learned is true of all COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the United States."

He also said said the Nationals' "denial of a reasonable accommodation is unlawful."

Prior to his termination, Gallo worked for the Nationals for 10 years.

"He has been an exemplary employee, loyal and professional. The court needs to serve as the umpire here and call the Nationals out over this unlawful action," LiMandri said.

The Nationals did not return a request for comment from Just the News.

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