ACTION ALERT FOR HB 1001-Employee Exemptions

Alright everyone, I have some news about HB 1001 for exemptions, and it’s not good.

The Republicans did something I’ve never seen before, they moved the bill to the public health committee without sending it through the labor committee after it went through labor in the House. They gave no explanation. I’ve searched through the other bills, and NONE of the bills for other issues had this done to them.

The more we demand freedom, the more lawless our “representatives” become.

Hb1001 has little chance to get a hearing and a vote to pass in the Health committee of the Senate. Instead they’re passing the state of emergency into law with SB 3 and HB 1003.

Basically, do you want HB 1001 to pass? If we want to pass it, we need to SHOW UP big time at the state house and demand they help us.

ACTION ALERT FOR HB1001-employee exemptions

Call these legislators ASAP.

Script ideas:

1. Tell Senator Bray it is unacceptable that he switched committees from Employment to the Health in the Senate. Tell him we know he did that to kill HB 1001 and allow Hoosiers to be fired over a covid vaccine mandate, and we’re mad. He needs to make protecting our jobs priority. OSHA has temporarily stopped, but many Indiana jobs are still mandating.

Senator Rod Bray-decides where to place bills-Pro Temp
317-232-9416
S37@iga.in.gov

2. Call and ask Rep Lehman why he’s not pushing harder for his bill to pass. Demand he tell you why he picked Senator Ed Charbonneau as the Senate bill sponsor when he knows Charbonneau Is against HB1001. Is he playing around with the rest of leadership to kill his own bill? Also tell him he needs to add prospective employees to the language.

Rep Matt Lehman-bill author
317-234-9380
H79@iga.in.gov

3. Call and demand that Senator Charbonneau give a hearing and vote for HB1001. The people of IN have been jerked around with empty promises from the GOP for several months. Other Red states have already passed laws even better than HB 1001, yet the Indiana GOP refuses to help employees. Give HB 1001 a hearing immediately.

Senator Ed Charbonneau-bill Senate sponsor-head of Health committee
317-232-9494
s5@iga.in.gov

Basically they are playing games with us. The House members are all up for reelection, so they pretended they cared about people being fired over covid vaccine mandates. They “rushed” to pass HB1001 in the House. They killed all the other vaccine related bills.

The Senate is NOT up for reelection, so they don’t have to pretend they care about people getting fired. Rep Lehman is the author, but please understand that he doesn’t want this to pass. He did it to pretend he tried his best. He named Senator Charbonneau, head of the Senate health committee, as a Senate bill sponsor. He knows Charbonneau is opposed to HB 1001, and he could have picked any other senator as a sponsor, but he chose Charbonneau to kill the bill. If people want this bill bad enough, we need a rally for it. Because the OSHA mandate was stopped temporarily and OSHA temporarily pulled back its rules, momentum against mandates has greatly slowed down. The Republicans are using that to their advantage.

Let me give you some facts on HB1001.

http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2022/bills/house/1001#document-e883fd44

Myth: It does nothing more than give us what the Federal civil rights act already gives us. It does not offer any protections for employees.

Truth:1. it guarantees exemptions for employees that can’t be denied.
The federal civil rights act allows for denial of exemptions based on a perceived undue hardship on the business.

  1. It gives a personal beliefs exemption (not religious or medical) exemption to anyone who agrees to test and wear a mask.
    Federal act doesn’t give personal belief exemption.
  2. It adds students doing clinicals/internships as “employees” so they are exempt from covid vaccine mandates.

The EEOC doesn’t cover them from what I understand. So this will cover even students from private schools doing internships.

It makes businesses who require testing pay for the testing. This will deter testing requirements on staff.
Federal law was trying to make employees pay for testing, but that’s temporarily on hold by the Supreme Court. Many other states and countries require employees to pay for weekly testing.

4. It makes it illegal to fire or take an adverse action on an employee who asks for or has an exemption over the covid vaccine.
Federal law doesn’t protect us from that, fed only prevents being fired due to religious beliefs.

5. If anyone is fired over refusing the covid vaccine, they qualify for unemployment benefits. That would be helpful during the time of possibly suing the employees for firing over the covid vaccine.
Current law doesn’t require unemployment benefits to be paid, and they are usually denied to people who are fired over refusal of the covid vaccine.

6. The employer cannot ask any further questions about your exemption. They can’t require a religious leader to sign off or grill you on your beliefs.
The EEOC guidelines do allow employers to ask about your religious beliefs. Not in the aggressive way many employers are doing by requiring a religious leader to sign off, but they can ask.

7. It gives a six month exemption for natural immunity that can be renewed with an antibody test that shows continued immunity. The employer cannot ask to see antibody status more than once every six months.
Federal law doesn’t do that.

8. It does allow businesses to require masks and testing. It says IF they require testing, it can’t be more than once a week and the business has to pay for it.
But currently employers are already allowed to require masks and testing for staff. So I don’t know that there’s a major difference. Pass the law, businesses can require testing and masks. Don’t pass the law, businesses can require testing and masks but staff might have to pay for testing.

No lawsuits in Indiana have stopped masks or testing for private businesses. The only one that briefly did was against an executive order by the West Lafayette Republican mayor. It was ruled above his authority, but the city council quickly voted it as a city ordinance, so masks were reinstated. However, private businesses have been allowed to require masks and testing. At least HB 1001 would stop them from testing more than weekly and make them pay for tests.

HB 1001 does add part of the state of emergency into code that allows the State to get Federal funding for SNAP, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits. It also allows for short term temporary licensing of medical staff. Currently, there are a few thousand healthcare workers on tempory licenses according to the representative for the Long Term Care Association testimony at the last hearing for HB 1001. In order to prevent a massive loss in staffing, they are working on phasing that out……. Let me explain that the same language for the emergency measures regarding receiving Federal funding is in SB 3. SB 3 already passed the full Senate without issue and is poised to pass the full House. The GOP also has HB 1003 that gives temporary licenses with no set end date to students and brings in foreign nurses with no end date. They are passing those two bills right along. We do not support SB 3 or HB 1003.

The point is, whether HB 1001 passes or not, Indiana is going to have the same language regarding emergency measures and Federal funding that many people oppose in SB 3. The tempory licensing issue is happening with HB 1003, but it’s even worse in that bill. That does need to be a phasing out period for those working under temporary licenses, but it doesn’t need to be years long. It needs to be a few months long.

Every other vaccine related bill has died. None of the others will get a hearing this year. HB 1001 is all that is left, and it looks to be highly likely that the Republicans, under Holcomb’s direction, are going to kill it too.

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