Introduced on April 14, House Bill 175 recognizes COVID-19 immunization rights for Alaskans who decline to get the experimental COVID shots.
Sponsored by Representatives Ben Carpenter (R-Nikiski), Sarah Vance (R-Homer) and Christopher Kurka (R-Wasilla), the bill states that unless there is a disaster emergency declaration in effect, no government or private business can mandate that employees get COVID-19 shots as a condition of employment. It also bans such entities from barring Alaskans from access to an area or service that is open to the general public, and recognizes the right of Alaskans to file civil action if discriminated against for not receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
“HB 175 preserves an individual right to determine whether COVID-19 vaccination is necessary,” Rep. Carpenter said. “There is concern among many Alaskans that the COVID-19 vaccines were rushed through the FDA approval process. Alaskans should not be forced to receive a vaccine that has not undergone the full approval process and all the risks are known.”
The proposed law would apply to all state agencies, municipalities, school districts and all other units of local government as well as private Alaska businesses.
The bill specifically states that an employer “may not discriminate against an employee or applicant for employment regarding tenure, compensation, employee benefits, or other terms and conditions of employment because the employee or applicant refuses to undergo or prove receipt of a vaccination against COVID-19…”
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The bill comes at a time when some employers such as the Bering Straits Native Corporation are moving towards mandating COVID shots for all employees.
HB 175 is currently in the House Community & Regional Affairs Committee, which is co-chaired by Rep. Sara Hannan (D-Juneau) and Rep. Calvin Schrage (NA-Anchorage). It is not yet scheduled for a hearing.
- Click here to contact members of the House Community & Regional Affairs Committee.
- Click here to read the HB 175.