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12 Feb, 2022 03:35

California bill would make vax mandatory for employment

Democratic members of the state assembly want to force all employees to get vaccinated against Covid
California bill would make vax mandatory for employment

Democratic California officials have introduced a bill which would force businesses to require their employees to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 or face fines and other penalties.

California State Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks – a Democrat who worked on former President Barack Obama’s 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns – introduced the bill on Thursday alongside fellow Democratic assembly members Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, Evan Low, and Akilah Weber.

“This bill would require an employer to require each person who is an employee or independent contractor, and who is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, to show proof to the employer, or an authorized agent thereof, that the person has been vaccinated against COVID-19,” the bill proposed, exempting only those with a medical condition or “sincerely held religious belief” that would prevent them from getting vaccinated.

Employers would then have to show proof to the state authorities that the employees complied with the requirement by January 23 or face penalties.

Only an advisory from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stating that vaccination against Covid-19 was no longer necessary would repeal the bill, if passed.

Wicks had previously drafted another version of the bill which would allow employees to undergo weekly testing instead, however this provision was taken out of the bill introduced on Thursday.

The assemblywoman claimed her bill was about “getting back to some sense of normalcy so we can go on with our lives.”

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California State Senator Scott Wiener, who co-authored the bill, declared in a statement that “the path to normalcy is through broad vaccination. Period.”

Wiener has co-authored several controversial California bills, including a 2017 bill which lowered the penalty for knowingly infecting another person with HIV from a felony to a misdemeanor. The bill was passed in October that year.