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Chamber Opposes Bill on Workers’ Vaccinations

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber announced Monday its board of directors voted to oppose Ohio House Bill 193.

The legislation, pending in the Ohio House of Representatives’ health committee, would prohibit an employer from taking an adverse employment action against a person who has not been or will not be vaccinated against influenza.

Because the prohibition would apply to health-care and other workers who interact with people whose immune systems are already compromised, the chamber board recommends that the Ohio General Assembly reject the legislation, according to a news release from the chamber.

Ohio House Bill 193 would prohibit “an employer from discharging without just cause, refusing to hire or otherwise discriminating against any person with respect to hire, tenure, terms, conditions or privileges of employment, or any matter directly or indirectly related to employment, on the basis that the person has not been or will not be vaccinated against influenza for any reason, including medical, religious or philosophical.”

The bill does not specify a penalty for a violation of the prohibition.

“We recognize the balance between individual rights and employer rights,” said Guy Coviello, regional chamber vice president of government affairs.

“Much like there are professions where it is imperative that employers have the right to require certain provisions — such as maintaining a drug-free workplace when operating transportation or dangerous machinery –employers such as those in the health-care industry need to be able to require their workers to be properly immunized against influenza,” he continued.

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