As OSHA is implementing the Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) requiring employers with 100 or more workers to require vaccinations or weekly testing, two bills are advancing through the state legislature that would restrict vaccination policies for employees. Previously, the board of directors of the Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce passed a resolution opposing the OSHA ETS. This month, the board sent a letter (link to attached) to state and federal lawmakers asking that employers be allowed to develop their own vaccination policies.
PA Senate Bill 471 would prohibit employers from requiring the COVID-19 vaccine, and House Bill 2013 would implement a Constitutional amendment that would limit employers’ ability to manage employees based on vaccination status. Neither bill has been voted on in its respective chamber. However, both would create a conflict for employers that have to comply with the ETS.
The ETS and both bills create more work for employers in compliance and reporting. They also set up collective bargaining and employee relations issues. With the challenges employers are having hiring and retaining quality employees, the Chamber board believes that employers should be permitted to develop their vaccination policies in the best interests of their employees and business operations.