May 5, 2022
Indiana recently enacted a new law that prohibits employers from requiring employees or job applicants to receive COVID-19 vaccinations unless certain exemptions are made available. The new law went into effect on March 3, 2022.
Under the law, employers with COVID-19 vaccine mandates must provide individual exemptions to allow employees to opt out of vaccination for medical reasons, religious reasons or immunity acquired from a prior infection with COVID-19.
Documentation for Requests
Although they may waive their right to document employee exemption requests, the law allows employers to require each employee who requests an exemption to provide:
- A written, signed and dated statement by a licensed physician, a licensed physician’s assistant or an advanced practice registered nurse who has examined the employee, indicating that, in their professional opinion, immunization against COVID-19 is medically contraindicated for the employee;
- A written statement indicating that the employee declines the vaccine because of a sincerely held religious belief; or
- The positive result of a laboratory test for COVID-19 performed on the employee (may be required up to once every three months).
The new law protects unemployment benefits for employees who are discharged for failing or refusing to receive COVID-19 vaccines, as long as they make exemption requests and provide one of the documents mentioned above.
A new state law requires employers with COVID-19 vaccine mandates to provide exemptions for medical reasons, religious reasons or immunity based on prior infection.
Employees who are fired for refusing to submit to COVID-19 vaccine mandates are not disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits as long as they follow specified procedures to request exemptions.
Employers with COVID-19 vaccine mandates must allow exemptions for medical reasons, religious reasons and immunity from prior infection.