AIM testifies on vaccination mandates
January 17, 2022 - Last week, the House Judiciary Committee heard several bills regarding COVID-19 vaccination requirements by employers. The common theme among the various bills was to provide exceptions to any employer vaccination requirements, whether or not the requirement was imposed as a result of a government mandate.
Like many groups, Associated Industries of Missouri opposed the bills as drafted for various reasons. In the process, we developed a set of principles that fairly state the position of AIM (see below). Ray McCarty, president/CEO of Associated Industries of Missouri, read the statement to the Committee and and answered questions.
There was no support expressed for the bills and overwhelming opposition to them and the Committee took no action at the hearing. We will continue to keep you posted of any developments.
PROVISIONS EMPLOYERS OPPOSE:
1. Any federal or state mandate that an employer require employees to be vaccinated or that prevent an employer from requiring employees to receive a vaccination.
2. Employers oppose allowing employees to claim a “conscientious objection” not based on religion.
3. Employers oppose a presumption that a vaccination was the cause of any side effects, damages, or injuries for purposes of the workers’ compensation law or any other law.
4. Employers oppose a mandate requiring them to provide a “reasonable accommodation” for employees refusing to be vaccinated based on an “ethical, moral, or conscientious belief.”
5. Employers oppose modifying the definition of “occupational disease” to include vaccination side effects.
6. Employers oppose establishing a new protected class for employees that have not taken the vaccine, in effect allowing new types of discrimination lawsuits against employers.
PROVISIONS EMPLOYERS DO NOT OPPOSE:
1. Exceptions to a vaccine requirement based on the following:
a. Sincerely held religious objections;
b. Bona fide medical exemptions provided the employer may require proof;
c. Acquired immunity from a previous infection, provided the employer may require proof.
2. Workers' compensation should be the sole and exclusive remedy for damages if an employer requires vaccination and the employee proves the vaccine produced side effects, damages, or injuries as a direct result of the vaccine.