Ohio House Cancels Vote on Bill to Limit Employers’ COVID-19 Options
After fast-tracking a bill that would restrict employer options during COVID-19, Ohio House leaders pulled House Bill 435 this week without a floor vote. Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima) said Republicans, who have a supermajority, need more time to examine “additional issues.”
Before this week’s scheduled floor vote, the OMA announced its opposition to HB 435 — and was later joined by other business organizations. If enacted, the bill would:
Prohibit mandates for COVID-19 vaccines that have not had full FDA approval (meaning only the Pfizer vaccine could be utilized at the present time).
Provide exemptions to an employer’s vaccine requirement for medical reasons, reasons of conscience, and natural immunity (defined as “presence of COVID-19 antibodies in an amount at least equal to those conferred by a COVID-19 vaccine”).
Require documentation for all exemptions — although the documentation for the conscience objection would only need to be stated in writing, with employers barred from requiring any further evidence.
At this time, it’s unclear what changes could be made to HB 435 or whether the bill will receive a vote by the full House. 9/30/2021