Eleven governors have signed bills restricting COVID-19 vaccination mandates in their states, according to an Aug. 20 report from the National Academy for State Health Policy.
Arizona: On April 19, Republican Governor Doug Ducey issued an order prohibiting the state from requiring people to prove their COVID-19 vaccine status to enter a business, building or area or to receive a public service . However, healthcare facilities can request documentation on the COVID-19 vaccine status of patients, residents, employees or visitors.
On June 30, Governor Doug Ducey signed a bill requiring employers to provide reasonable accommodation to employees with sincere religious beliefs, practices or observances that prevent the employee from being vaccinated against COVID-19, unless the accommodation places undue hardship on the operation of the business. The bill allows healthcare establishments to require vaccination of employees.
Arkansas: On April 28, the state passed a bill prohibiting the state, state political subdivisions, or public officials from requiring vaccination as a condition of employment. These agencies cannot discriminate or coerce people who refuse a COVID-19 vaccine by denying them opportunities for career advancement, salary increases, or insurance reductions.
Georgia: On May 25, Republican Gov. Brian Kemp said no state agency can require proof of COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of state employment, doing business with the state, or benefiting other rights granted by the state.
Florida: On April 2, Republican Gov. Ron Desantis said companies were prohibited from requiring customers to verify a COVID-19 vaccination status or post-transmission recovery to access the business.
Indiana: On April 29, Republican Gov. Eric Halcomb signed a law prohibiting state or local governments from requiring anyone, including employees, to show proof of vaccination.
Montana: On May 7, Republican Governor Greg Gianforte signed a bill banning discrimination based on vaccination status. This includes prohibiting an employer or government entity from denying a person a job or discriminating against a person in compensation or in terms, conditions or privileges of employment based on the person’s immunization status. In addition, a person may not be required to receive a vaccine that is authorized for use under an emergency use authorization or a vaccine that has been tested for safety.
New Hampshire: On July 26, Republican Governor Chris Sununu signed a bill stating that employers can only impose vaccination as a condition of employment when a “direct threat” exists. A “direct threat” is defined as a significant risk of substantial harm to the health or safety of the individual or other persons which cannot be eliminated or reduced by reasonable accommodation. Public hospitals are exempt from the mandate
North Dakota: On May 7, Republican Gov. Doug Burgum signed a bill prohibiting state government entities from requiring a private company to obtain documents to verify an individual’s immunization status. The bill exempts healthcare facilities from the ban.
Oklahoma: On May 28, Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt issued an order prohibiting state agencies from requiring people to show proof of vaccination to enter public buildings. The ordinance does not apply to employees working in patient care facilities.
Tennessee: On May 25, Republican Gov. Bill Lee signed a bill prohibiting any state agency, department, or political subdivision from requiring COVID-19 vaccines.
Utah: On March 16, Republican Governor Spencer Cox signed a bill prohibiting state agencies from requiring people to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment. However, the bill does not apply to employees who work in a medical environment and who need to be vaccinated in order to perform the duties and responsibilities assigned to them.