11 bans on vaccine mandates — What states have them & which might soon

Ten states have enacted 11 laws with prohibitions on COVID-19 vaccine mandates, according to a July 29 report from the National Academy for State Health Policy.

In seven of these states, the governor has already signed the bills. In three states, the bills have passed in the House of Representative and Senate, but are awaiting the governor's final approval. 

Note: All bills have been signed by the governor unless otherwise noted.

Arizona: Employers must provide reasonable accommodations for employees with sincerely held religious beliefs, practices or observances that prevent them from getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Exceptions can be made if it poses a hardship for business operations. The bill prohibits the establishment of a COVID-19 vaccine passport. However, healthcare institutions can require employees be vaccinated.

Arkansas: State agencies and state officials are prohibited from requiring people to get the COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of employment. These agencies cannot coerce individuals who refuse the vaccine by withholding career advancements, wage increases or insurance discounts.

Michigan: In a bill that passed in both chambers, any entity of the state that receives funding from producing, developing or issuing a COVID-19 vaccine passport is prohibited. Any public funds are prohibited from being used to implement a vaccine mandate program of an employer or state government.

Montana: An employer cannot discriminate against an employee based on their vaccination status. They cannot refuse employment or withhold wage increases based on having a COVID-19 vaccine. An individual cannot be required to get a vaccine that only has emergency use authorization or is undergoing safety trials.

New Hampshire: Employers can only mandate a vaccine as a condition of employment if there is a direct threat to the safety of others that cannot be reduced by reasonable accommodations. Any government agency is banned from compelling individuals to get the COVID-19 vaccine or provide proof of vaccination status to receive a public service or use a public facility.

North Dakota: A government entity cannot require documentation of an individual's vaccination status to receive public services, funds or use public property. A state government cannot require private businesses to obtain documentation of vaccination status for communicating the status before employment.

Ohio: In a bill that has passed in both chambers, private and public entities are banned from requiring an individual to receive a vaccine that is not fully approved by the FDA. Unvaccinated staff members can't be required to refrain from or engage in activities or precautions that differ from those who have received the vaccine.

Tennessee: A state agency, department or political subdivision cannot require individuals to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

Texas: In a bill that passed both chambers, employers are banned from refusing to hire, discharging or discriminating against an individual because the individual does not provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination status.

Utah: A government entity is prohibited from requiring an individual to get the COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of employment or participate in an activity, before it's fully approved by the FDA.


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