The author of legislation that would limit COVID-19 employer mandates says changes will likely have to be made in the bill.
Indiana House Majority Leader Matt Lehman tells Indy Politics that there will be at least four changes in HB 1001, which would require any employer with a COVID-19 vaccine mandate to also offer a testing option, and the cost of testing would be covered by the employer, not the employee. IN addition, the employer would have to offer medical and religious exemptions, as well as an exemption for anyone who had COVID-19 and has built up an immunity for six months afterwards.
You can hear Lehman in the Leon-Tailored Audio above. It runs for 18 minutes.
Indiana Democrats criticized the legislation, “Indiana Republicans embarrassed themselves and the state government when they tried to cancel out the necessary tools needed for businesses and Hoosiers to fight COVID-19. Republicans are quickly proving they are the party that’s bad for business and workers, and it’s because they would rather put their extreme partisanship ahead of creating a better future for Hoosiers,” said Lauren Ganapini, executive director for the Indiana Democratic Party. “Indiana Democrats continue to ask Hoosiers to get their COVID-19 vaccine. Science and medicine are equipped to fight the pandemic, and we ask all Hoosiers to do their patriotic and civic duty to help put this pandemic behind us by getting vaccinated.”
In addition, the Indiana Chamber says it is still not on board with the legislation as it has been written,
“Regarding the proposed legislation (what will be HB 1001), we communicated to legislative leaders that there are several policies that we couldn’t support and why these actions would be detrimental and costly to businesses. Unfortunately, one of them remained in the preliminary draft presented last month. It’s the provision that calls for employers to pay for COVID-19 testing for employees who elect not to get the vaccine. The financial impact of this provision will cause some employers to back away from their vaccine policy because it would be too expensive to pay for weekly testing for their unvaccinated workers,” said Indiana Chamber CEO Kevin Brinegar. “The vaccine itself is widely available and free to employees, which is why we feel employers shouldn’t have to pay for those who opt to not take the vaccine and instead undergo weekly testing.”