Arkansas lawmakers delay adjournment to finish up debate over COVID-19 vaccines and mandates

Politics

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Arkansas Senate delayed adjourning sine die to attempt to pass through one last bill of the session. 

Senator Bob Ballinger’s bill would allow employees the right to decide whether or not they choose to disclose their vaccine status.  The bill also allows for people to sue employers who violate this law.

Senator Ballinger referred to arguments made in other bills, specifically Senator Jason Rapert’s when he read off a list of questions employers are not allowed to ask such as sexual orientation, marital status, and medical history.

Sen. Ballinger believes covid vaccine status should be a part of that list. 

Detractors of this bill have argued it is similar to a bill that gives federal mandate workarounds for those who choose to not be vaccinated. 

During the debate in the House Public Health Committee, Randy Zook with the State Chamber of Commerce argued this is the most damaging bill that has come forward during this portion of the Session. 

“We are shredding employment-at-will in this state!” Zook exclaimed.

There is no emergency clause attached to this bill, so it would be approximately January when this law could potentially take effect. 

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