State senators pass COVID-19 vaccine exemption

Senators approved an exemption process for employer COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

LINCOLN, Neb. - Senators approved an exemption process for employer COVID-19 vaccine mandates Feb. 25.

LB906, introduced by Blair Sen. Ben Hansen, requires the state Department of Health and Human Services to create and publish a form on its website to be filled out by employees seeking an exemption based either on a health care practitioner’s recommendation or the individual’s sincerely held religious belief, practice or observance.

The bill applies to entities with one or more employees, including state agencies and other political subdivisions. The federal government, any corporation wholly owned by the federal government, Indian tribes and bona fide private membership clubs, other than labor organizations, that are exempt from federal taxation are exempt from the bill’s provisions.

Under LB906, employers may require unvaccinated employees to wear personal protective equipment or submit to COVID-19 testing at the employer’s expense. Medicare-certified and Medicaid-certified providers or suppliers and federal contractors may require additional processes, documentation or accommodations as necessary to comply with federal law and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services regulations.

The bill passed on a 37-5 vote and takes effect immediately.