HOUSE BILL NO. HB1001
COVID-19 vaccine employer mandates.
Sponsored by: Representative(s) Greear, Barlow, Bear, Burkhart, Duncan, Heiner, Oakley, Olsen, Sommers, Western and Wilson and Senator(s) Boner, Cooper, Dockstader, Driskill, Hicks, Hutchings, Kinskey, Kolb, Kost, Salazar and Steinmetz
AN ACT relating to labor and employment; prohibiting employers in Wyoming from requiring a COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of employment except as specified; providing for exemptions; providing for reasonable alternative measures for employees unable or unwilling to receive a COVID-19 vaccine; requiring employers to provide severance pay to employees who voluntarily terminate employment or are involuntarily terminated because of a COVID-19 vaccination requirement; amending the worker's compensation program to provide a presumption that an injury caused by a mandated or required COVID-19 vaccination is compensable as specified; creating the health care shortage relief and worker incentive program; creating a program to provide for COVID-19 testing and COVID-19 antibody testing for employers; providing civil penalties; appropriating federal funds; authorizing rulemaking; providing conditional sunset dates; providing applicability; providing legislative findings; and providing for an effective date.
Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Wyoming:
(a) The legislature finds that:
(i) COVID‑19 continues to have a devasting impact on the state of Wyoming. The impact of COVID‑19 is felt especially in Wyoming health care facilities. Many health care facilities, including at least twelve (12) hospitals, are facing a critical shortage of workers due to a variety of factors, including fatigue from treating COVID‑19. Wyoming hospitals are dangerously close to needing to ration care due to staffing shortages and an increased number of patients;
(ii) At the same time, Wyoming, like the rest of the nation, is facing a general worker shortage across many industries. Job postings are staying open longer and many jobs are remaining unfilled;
(iii) Individual employers in the state of Wyoming have signaled that they will require or mandate employees to be vaccinated against COVID‑19 as a condition of employment. While these vaccine mandates are likely well‑intentioned, there is a high probability that the vaccine mandates will lead to an even greater shortage of workers in Wyoming;
(iv) To protect the health, safety and welfare of the people of Wyoming, it is necessary for the legislature to exercise its police power to ensure the state of Wyoming does not experience a greater shortage of workers in general, and health care workers in particular, by imposition of unconditional employer COVID‑19 vaccine mandates.
(b) As used in the non‑codified sections of this act:
(i) "American Rescue Plan Act funds" means funds appropriated or disbursed to the state of Wyoming through the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund established under section 602 of title VI of the federal Social Security Act, as created by section 9901 of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, P.L. No. 117‑2;
(ii) "COVID‑19" means as defined by W.S. 1‑1‑141(a)(ii);
(iii) "COVID‑19 vaccine" means any vaccine that is marketed to prevent COVID‑19 or any vaccine that is marketed to diminish or decrease the symptoms of COVID‑19;
(iv) "Employee" means a person permitted to work by an employer in employment;
(v) "Employer" means as defined by W.S. 27‑1‑115(d)(ii);
(vi) "Health care employer" means an employer whose primary purpose is to provide services or products intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent conditions which affect an individual's physical or mental condition, including but not limited to, hospital, medical, surgical, dental, vision and pharmaceutical services or products.
To read the entire House Bill, go to: https://wyoleg.gov/Legislation/2021?specialSessionValue=1&fbclid=IwAR2pojIzQt8u6CsmTtse8ZijMgCo3v8CeDRwh_isrj4Vxc0ih3J1eIjF25c