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Bill gives Utah employees COVID-19 vaccine exemptions

Posted at 2:55 PM, Nov 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-08 23:49:21-05

SALT LAKE CITY — A bill introduced in the special session of the Utah State Legislature would carve exemptions for employees who don't want the COVID-19 vaccine.

Senate Bill 2004, sponsored by Sen. Kirk Cullimore, R-Sandy, allows employees to claim the medical, religious and personal exemptions already allowed under Utah law. However, it also blocks employers from firing or refusing to hire employees who refuse to be vaccinated.

The legislation does appear to allow them to be assigned to other duties.

Republican leaders on Utah's Capitol Hill have repeatedly said that they oppose government vaccine mandates. However, they have supported the right of private businesses to mandate it on their own. That position has changed among some lately, with House leadership expressing a desire to set some guardrails on it.

Governor Spencer Cox has threatened a veto of any bill that blocks private employers from mandating the vaccine.

If it passes the full legislature, the bill would go into effect upon the governor's signature. Or, if Governor Spencer Cox vetoes it, upon a veto override.