One State Steps up to Protect Workers by Banning Businesses From Requiring a COVID Vaccine to Work
As it turns out, some people want âthe new normalâ to require experimental injections to keep their way of making a living. Such a measure doesnât sit well with many Americans and certainly not conservative lawmakers.
Tuesday saw the state legislature in Montana pass a bill that blocks employers from requiring that their employees receive a coronavirus vaccine as a condition of employment. This after the nationwide push to roll out the various types of COVID-19 vaccine has gotten a boost by every major news outlet and medical establishment around the country.
âThe bill bars employers from denying employment opportunities, educational opportunities, privileges, licensing, goods, or services based on vaccination status or whether someone has an immunity passport.âÂ âEmployers are still permitted to strongly recommend that workers get vaccinated.â
While the measure has not yet been signed into law by Republican Governor Greg Gianforte, it sets a precedent that many across the nation canât see put into place too soon. With questions about the effectiveness and long-term ramifications of the coronavirus vaccine left unanswered, many believe it is not only unconstitutional, but it is a violation of human rights, to require Americans to take it.
âUp to now Montana employers have respected the fundamental, personal, medical, and religious freedoms of Montanans,â GOP state senator Tom McGillvray, who presented the bill,Â saidÂ last week, according to the Associated Press.
âHowever, thatâs not the case anymore,â he said. âThere are employers â¦ that are requiring and coercing employees to get vaccinations under threat of termination and intimidation.â
Not everyone is delighted about the decision, however.Â There are health care organizations who spoke up about their frustrations, including the Montana Hospital Association expressing concerns that âwill prevent healthcare facilities from screening potential employees in the hiring process without violating the newly created discrimination provisions in the bill.â
This law âunravels more than 50 years of medical science and expert guidance in protecting patients and health care workers from infectious diseases,â Rich Rasmussen, president and CEO of the Montana Hospital Association,Â said.
That complaint was pushed back by Republican state representative Jennifer Carlson who sponsored the bill. Carlson said that the measure âdoes not in any way prevent any employer from taking reasonable safety precautions, just as any hospital currently does, with an employee who does not have a flu shot.â
This is now Montanaâs second time to step up to the plate on coronavirus in recent days. Gianforte reportedly issued an executive order just weeks ago that banned the use of vaccine passports or any type of documentation that addressed someoneâs coronavirus vaccination status in the state.
âI strongly encourage Montanans to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Receiving one is entirely voluntary and wonât be mandated by the state,â the governorÂ wroteÂ in an April 13 tweet. âThatâs why today I issued an executive order prohibiting âvaccine passports,â and Iâll continue protecting individual liberty and personal privacy.â
Other states have also banned vaccine passports. Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Nebraska, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah.
âItâs completely unacceptable for either the government or the private sector to impose upon you the requirement that you show proof of vaccine to just simply be able to participate in normal society,â Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said early this month in announcing his executive order banning the use of vaccine passports in his state.
âAs I have said all along, these vaccines are always voluntary and never forced,â Texas Governor Greg Abbott said days later in a video message announcing his similar executive order prohibiting government-mandated vaccine passports.
âGovernment should not require any Texan to show proof of vaccination and reveal private health information just to go about their daily lives,â Abbott said.