February 10, 2022, Assembly proposal (AB) 1993 was introduced in the California Legislature. This bill would change certain COVID-19 vaccination requirements in employment relationships and create a framework for California employers to be responsible for vaccination programs at their workplaces.
AB 1993 (also known as Government Code Section 12940.4) will enter into force on 1 January 2023 if adopted by the Legislative Assembly and signed by the Governor. The law would create a host of California employer obligations around COVID-19 vaccines. If the bill is passed, it will “require that every person employed or independent contractor who is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine show proof to the employer … that the person has been vaccinated against COVID-19. “
The bill defines “vaccinated against COVID-19” as either being “completely vaccinated” by a vaccine approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the World Health Organization (WHO) or having received “the first dose of two-dose COVID-19″ -vaccine … provides evidence of the first dose and proof of receipt of the second dose of the vaccine within 45 days of receipt of the first dose. ” The bill sets out certain exceptions to the vaccination requirement, including a medical condition or disability or a “sincerely held religious belief that excludes the person from receiving the vaccination.” The bill even includes a reporting provision for submitting vaccination information to the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) and penal provisions for an indefinite amount for non-compliance with this proposed law.
The bill will remain operational until the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “determines that COVID-19 vaccinations are no longer necessary for the health and safety of individuals, and from that date is repealed.”
© 2022, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, PC, All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 43