Bill Description: H415 provides protections for certain employee exemptions related to the vaccines.
Analyst Note: H415 is one of several pieces of legislation introduced during the November meeting of the 2021 session to address the issue of vaccine mandates in Idaho.
Does it violate the spirit or the letter of either the U.S. Constitution or the Idaho Constitution? Examples include restrictions on speech, public assembly, the press, privacy, private property, or firearms. Conversely, does it restore or uphold the protections guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution or the Idaho Constitution?
H415 creates Section 44-906, Idaho Code, to deal with immunization exemptions. The language requires employers to allow exemptions for employees "whose life or health would be endangered by such immunization or who is pregnant according to a certificate signed by a physician licensed by the state board of medicine"; "who has submitted a signed statement to the employer objecting to such immunization on religious or other grounds" or "who, with respect to a COVID-19 vaccination, has a documented history of COVID-19 infection or a positive antibody screen."
It is certainly positive to recognize the validity of exemptions — especially medical and religious exemptions — but it is concerning that this bill does nothing to protect the privacy and personal medical information of individuals. Instead, it endorses the idea that employers should be intimately involved in monitoring the personal health of their employees and should treat them differently based on their health conditions.