Governor Signs Ban on COVID Vaccine Requirements



On November 10, 2023, Gov. Greg Abbott signed S.B. 7, a new law prohibiting any Texas employer from requiring COVID-19 vaccines.  The new prohibition becomes effective February 6, 2024.
More specifically, Texas law will prohibit a private employer from mandating COVID-19 vaccines for their employees, applicants and independent contractors.  Additionally, employers may not take an adverse action against an employee, applicant or independent contractor if the person chooses not to be vaccinated.  An adverse action is defined as any action a reasonable person would consider was for the purpose of punishing, alienating, or otherwise adversely affecting the employee.

Complaints will be handled by the Texas Workforce Commission.  The Commission SHALL impose a fine of $50,000 for each violation, UNLESS: (1) the employer hires the applicant or contractor; OR (2) reinstates the employee or contractor.
Regardless of the above, the Commission may seek to recover from the employer reasonable investigative costs.

There is an exception for health care facilities and providers.  They may establish a reasonable policy that includes requiring the use of protective medical equipment by an employee or contractor who is not vaccinated against COVID-19 based on the level of risk the individual presents to patients from the individual ’s routine and direct exposure to patients.

The text of the law can be found HERE.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the TCA Offices.