‘911’ Actor’s Lawsuit Over COVID Vaccine Firing Heads to Trial in Major Test for Studios

20th Television must face a religious discrimination trial for firing Rockmond Dunbar, an original castmember on 911, after he refused to take the COVID-19 vaccine, marking the second ruling to clear the way for trial a lawsuit against a studio over terminations triggered by vaccine mandates amid the pandemic.

U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee found on Friday that 20th may have discriminated against Dunbar for declining to provide him a religious exemption to the vaccine as a follower of the Church of Universal Wisdom. The trial will assess whether he had a sincerely held religious belief within the meaning of civil rights laws that conflicted with the vaccine mandate and if reasonable accommodations could have been offered, allowing him to continue acting on the series without endangering others or causing undue hardship to the studio.