Bill Description: H417 would make injuries arising from employer-mandated vaccinations compensable under Idaho's workers compensation laws.
Analyst Note: H417 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?
H417 creates Section 72-452 Idaho Code, to clarify that "when an employer requires an employee to receive a vaccination in the course of employment or as a condition of hiring or continued employment, any accident or injury caused by such vaccination shall be compensable."
At its core, the idea that an employer should be liable for damage caused by an action the employer mandates is positive, but there are some potential problems with this form of implementation.
Most notably, the workers compensation system is not the most equitable way to hold employers responsible because it socializes the cost of restitution to some degree. For example, companies that do not mandate vaccines may be in the same rating category as those that do, and they may see their worker’s compensation premium costs increase as a result, too. The fiscal note did not address this point.
In truth, any government, institution, or company that mandates vaccination or any other medical procedure should be directly and fully liable for any harm or injury caused by the mandated vaccine or medical procedure.
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