States Pass Laws that Ban Discrimination Against Unvaccinated People

The COVID-19 virus itself has been difficult to get hold of, but misinformation surrounding the vaccines have added another layer of difficulty to fighting against it. Those misinformation include conspiracy theories that claim the vaccines alter people's DNA or that the vaccines contain microchips that the government uses to spy on individuals. These mis and disinformation mainly floated around online and social media, but as also been parroted time and time again by right-wing media outlets. However, there has been a shift in tone lately among some of the most high-profile conservative figures such as Fox News host Sean Hannity and Fox & Friends anchor Steve Doocy. Conservative leaders in Washington also came out this week urging Americans to get vaccinated. This includes not only the Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, who has been a vocal proponent of vaccinations all along, but also the second ranking House GOP leader Steve Scalise. Congressman Scalise received a Pfizer shot on Sunday, relinquishing his reluctance to vaccination. Even with these recent efforts to make a pivot, the dominant narrative of the conservatives stays the same -- vaccination is a choice and should not be mandated. In lieu of this narrative, so many of the Republican-led states have passed legislations that ban discrimination against those who are unvaccinated. While the laws vary in terms of who would be shielded from mandatory vaccinations and under what circumstances, nearly every bill prohibits employers from making vaccination a condition of employment or taking adverse actions based on vaccination status. Under some legislations, violations may be subject to steep fines and even criminal liability and imprisonment. Lowell Pearson, a managing partner at Husch Blackwell, joined Cheddar Politics to discuss more on the anti-discrimination legislations that the firm has been tracking.
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