New California Bill Would Require Covid-19 Vaccinations for Employment
California Assembly Bill 1993 would require workers to be vaccinated against Covid-19 as a condition of their employment.
A new workplace mandate may be in the works if a newly introduced bill makes it past lawmakers in California. Assembly Bill 1993 seeks to require employers and independent contractors to be vaccinated against Covid-19 as a condition of their employment.
The bill, which was introduced by Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland) would allow for some exemptions, such as a medical condition, disability or religious beliefs but ultimately would put the responsibility of vaccination programs in the hands of employers.
Under the bill, employers would need to comply with the new mandate, having clear documentation of employee vaccination records and any vaccine exemptions to avoid penalties from California’s division of Occupational Safety and Health.
If passed, employers would have to notify the state that all employed workers are vaccinated against Covid-19 by Jan 1, 2023.
While some lawmakers applauded the bill expressing optimism in a new mandate that would increase worker health and safety, others were hesitant in having businesses police public health.
“Small businesses don’t want to be traffic cops in debates about public safety,” said John Arensmeyer, chief operating officer for the advocacy group Small Business Majority, in a Los Angeles Times article. “They’re looking for a common statewide standard that disentangles them from politics and enables them to operate their businesses safely and predictably.”