Federal officials are suing a Pennsylvania hospital, alleging religious discrimination in the firing of six employees who refused to get flu shots.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against Saint Vincent Hospital. It says the six were fired while medical exemptions were granted to 14 others in late 2013 and early 2014.

The Erie Times-News (http://bit.ly/2d4yQor) reports that Saint Vincent required certification by a clergy member and the fired employees were told they "did not provide proof of religious doctrine."

Saint Vincent officials said exemption requests are given "careful and appropriate consideration" and it disagrees with the commission's characterization of how the employee claims were handled.

Attorney Debra Lawrence said the plaintiffs were part of the Russian Orthodox, Independent Fundamental Baptist and Christian mysticism faiths.

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Information from: Erie Times-News, http://www.goerie.com