Bill Description: House Bill 581 would prevent, with some exceptions, employers from requiring employees to provide proof of vaccination or to reveal their vaccination status.
Analyst Note: House Bill 581 is one of several bills introduced this session that deals with preventing or limiting the scope of vaccine mandates in Idaho.
Over the last two years, governments at every level have engaged in a series of coordinated activities designed to coerce individuals and businesses to comply with the preferences of central planners and self-appointed experts of all stripes. Businesses have frequently been forced into threatening to dismiss employees if they do not comply with the state's ever evolving conception of "the science." Lost in this battle have been the rights of individuals — rights of privacy, self-ownership, and self-determination. What is the remedy? To protect individual rights, legislators must act. The Legislature must ruthlessly excise all medical mandates from society, whether through governments or employers involuntarily deputized by them. Individuals must be free to determine for themselves what is proper and medically necessary. Protecting individual liberty requires recognizing the fundamental right to make one's own medical decisions free from coercion or threats of retribution.
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?
House Bill 604 creates Chapter 28, Title 44, Idaho Code, to prevent employers from violating the medical privacy of individuals.
The bill says, "It is unlawful for an employer to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because such individual refuses to: be vaccinated for a coronavirus; receive any vaccine made available under an emergency use authorization; or disclose whether the individual: is vaccinated for a coronavirus; or has received a vaccination made available under an emergency use authorization."
The bill further states that "it is unlawful for any employer to limit, segregate, or classify employees or applicants for employment in any way that would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect an employee's status" for the same reasons listed above.
The bill does contain some unfortunate exceptions for "the federal government, any federal agency, or any person, organization, or entity employing health care professionals for the purpose of providing health care services."
In spite of these exceptions, the bill still protects many individual's medical privacy and thus it is consistent with the protection of individual liberty and constitutional principles.