The North Carolina Symphony and Music Director Carlos Miguel Prieto. Photo courtesy of North Carolina Symphony.

In Thursday’s (11/9) News and Observer (Raleigh, N.C.), Richard Stradling reports, “Three musicians fired by the N.C. Symphony Orchestra for not getting vaccinated against COVID-19 filed a lawsuit in August seeking their jobs back. Now lawyers for the symphony and its president and CEO and the state agency that supports the orchestra say the lawsuit should be dismissed because it was filed too late and because it incorrectly claims the symphony is a part of state government…. The lawsuit was brought by two French horn players and a violinist who … sought exemptions to the symphony’s vaccination requirement on religious grounds. Symphony president and CEO Sandi Macdonald denied their request … [stating that] the exemptions would cause an ‘undue hardship’ for an orchestra whose players must rehearse and perform in close proximity to one other…. Lawyers for Macdonald and the symphony [say] that the musicians waited too long to go to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and that the lawsuit should be dismissed as a result. Federal law gives someone 180 days to file a claim of discrimination with the EEOC…. The musicians waited until after they were fired, which the lawyers argue is too late for their case to be considered by the EEOC or the court.”