Chaplain says he was wrongfully fired after pro-life social media post 

By Dave Andrusko

For a decade the Rev. Jay McCaig was the chaplain at St. Cloud Hospital before being abruptly terminated on April 11, 2021. McCaig, who “had been a public face at the hospital,” said in a federal lawsuit “he was wrongfully terminated for his personal views,” according to Gabrielle Russon reporting for Florida Politics. 

Those personal views were about abortion.

Russon wrote

McCaig had strong personal views on abortion and considered it to be “immoral, a sin against God, and contrary to such teachings of the Bible,” his lawsuit said. However, McCaig said he never talked about his anti-abortion stance with patients or employees at the hospital.

McCaig’s Facebook post on abortion cost him his job on April 11, 2021, the lawsuit alleges. That was the day he was fired and escorted off the hospital premises.

The lawsuit said McCaig “was not told which post or posts on his personal Facebook page violated Orlando Health’s company policy, nor was he informed which company policy he violated.”

The hospital said his firing had nothing to do with his religious views.

According to the lawsuit, Karen Frenier, the hospital’s chief human resources officer, wrote

“Orlando Health has a commitment to providing an environment that recognizes, values and respects the diversity of our community, patients and families, physicians, and team members,” Frenier wrote. “There were concerns about your ability to provide spiritual and emotional care for Orlando Health’s diverse patient and team member population given your public social media posts. In addition the Orlando Health Alert Line received a formal complaint regarding your social media activity.”

McCaig wrote back to Frenier.

“My beliefs regarding abortion are my religious beliefs and my understanding of the Biblical text. Those religious beliefs are why I was terminated,” his response said, adding his personal Facebook account didn’t identify his job at Orlando Health.

McCaig “is seeking back pay, front pay, attorney fees and other damages for an unspecified amount,” according to the story.  Orlando Health acquired St. Cloud Regional Medical Center in 2020.

Russon added, “The pastor said in his lawsuit he had a spotless record and was never disciplined before he was fired.”