Jacobsen introduces bill to ease COVID vaccine requirements for potential state workers

Rep. Cyndy Jacobsen has introduced another bill that would help the state’s workforce by easing vaccine requirements in state agencies.

House Bill 1801 would prevent an employer at a state agency from requiring a person to prove they have received a COVID-19 vaccine or any variant thereof, as a condition of employment. The bill would apply to any perspective employee or applicant, or any person hired on or after the effective date of this legislation.

“King County and the City of Seattle both announced a week ago they will no longer require proof of vaccination against COVID-19 as a condition of employment effective immediately,” said Jacobsen, R-Puyallup. “And the CDC eased its COVID-19 prevention recommendations in August, announcing that it ‘no longer differentiates based on a person’s vaccination status because breakthrough infections occur.’ These policies make sense, and our state government should follow their lead.”

Additionally, under HB 1801, any rule, order, or directive that requires a person hired on or after the effective date of this legislation (or any perspective employee or applicant) to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment is unenforceable.

Earlier this session, Jacobsen filed House Bill 1029, which would help state workers who were forced to quit because of state vaccine mandates get their jobs back. The bill would create a pathway for those employees to be rehired to their former positions if they chose.

HB 1029 has yet to receive a public hearing in the Labor & Workplace Standards Committee.

“The governor’s emergency proclamations making COVID-19 vaccination a condition of employment within executive branch agencies created unnecessary hardship for many state employees and their families,” said Jacobsen.

“It also hurt those same government agencies by eliminating capable people who were fulfilling those duties and responsibilities. By excluding qualified former or prospective employees with a COVID-19 vaccine mandate, the state is hindering its own progress,” added Jacobsen.

HB 1801 has also been referred to the Labor & Workplace Standards Committee.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov