COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – The right of individuals to claim one of three exemptions to deny a mandatory dose of the coronavirus vaccine in the workplace would expire by the end of 2025, under the latest version of ‘a House GOP bill limiting the ability of companies to require the vaccine as a condition of employment.
Under the bill, employees who could show proof of COVID-19 antibodies, proof that they are at risk of a negative medical reaction, or those who do not want the vaccine for reasons of conscience, including religious beliefs, would be exempt from employer mandates.
The bill would end those exemptions by September 30, 2025, Rep. Rick Carfagna, Republican of Delaware and co-sponsor of the bill, said on Wednesday.
The legislation is one of many anti-mandate bills being considered by legislatures nationwide. GOP Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Monday issued an executive order banning any entity, including private companies, from applying a COVID-19 vaccine mandate to workers.
Carfagna said he believes the House bill judiciously balances the rights of workers and businesses. But the fate of the legislation is uncertain. Although House leaders planned to put the measure in place for a full vote in the Republican-controlled House on Wednesday, private discussions by GOP lawmakers continued with no indication that the bill has enough votes. to be adopted.
All major business and healthcare groups oppose the legislation. And Senate Speaker Matt Huffman, a Republican from Lima, has expressed skepticism of any bills regulating how private companies can run their businesses.
The exemptions in the bill would also be available to employees and students of public and private schools, colleges and universities in Ohio. Governments would be barred from requiring proof of vaccination to enter local or state-owned public facilities, which would include state-funded sports stadiums.
The law does not prevent private companies from requiring proof of vaccination. Additionally, employees of children’s hospitals and employees who work in hospital intensive care or intensive care units would not be eligible for the exemptions to receive the vaccine.
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