We have become aware that an attempt may be made to vote on House Bill (HB) 435 (COVID vaccines) or amend HB 435, in part or in its entirety to another bill. The provisions of HB 435 fall short of what our state needs as we work toward pandemic recovery, and the bill does not address the concerns expressed by the medical, business, university, and school communities about prior proposals of a similar nature.
Protection of an employer’s rights to make decisions in the best interest of their employees and those we serve cannot be over-stated.
Furthermore, the federal vaccine mandate would preempt any state law to the contrary, barring a stay by the courts. We appreciate your consideration and look forward to continuing to work with members of the legislature on policies that enhance economic recovery and support employers’ rights.
- Prohibits mandates for COVID-19 or other vaccines using mRNA technology (COVID-19 is the only vaccine currently using mRNA technology)
- For other mandated vaccines, requires employers to offer the following exemptions: medical, natural immunity, religious, and philosophical
- Sunsets the mandatory exemptions effective Tuesday, September 30, 2025
- Employees working in a children’s hospital or intensive care unit (ICU) are not covered by the mandatory exemptions, though hospitals must make a “good faith effort” to keep these workers employed in a different unit or capacity in the facility
- Requires the Ohio Workers’ Comp system to cover COVID-19 related vaccine injuries if mandated by an employer (also sunsets on Tuesday, September 30, 2025)
- Prohibits any public or private entity from requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccine status for entry
- Extends civil immunity protections previously included in HB 606 (133rd) through Friday, June 30, 2023.
Governor Mike DeWine has not weighed in on this measure, though he has previously threatened to veto any legislation limiting the ability of public and private entities to mandate vaccination. Further, the bill includes several restrictions on private employers that will likely be met with opposition in the Ohio Senate.