By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – A former employee of Trader Joe’s filed a lawsuit last week against the grocery store chain, claiming he was fired for refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

In his lawsuit, Gregg Crawford of Riverside alleges that Trader Joe’s initially granted his request for a religious exemption from the vaccine.

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Crawford had worked for Trader Joe’s in a management capacity for 26 years, according to the Pacific Justice Institute, a conservative nonprofit legal defensive group which filed the suit on Crawford’s behalf.

According to the lawsuit, Trader Joe’s announced in July that all company managers would have to be vaccinated. The lawsuit states that Trader Joe’s then granted Crawford’s request for an exemption.

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However, the lawsuit alleges he was then barred from a key leadership meeting in August, with the company saying only vaccinated employees could attend.

Shortly after that, Crawford was fired, the lawsuit states.

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CBSLA has reached out to Trader Joe’s for comment.