The North Dakota House of Representatives Thursday passed a bill that would ban state-level government-ordered COVID vaccine mandates.
The bill would not apply to jails, state hospitals, or higher education institutions but to all other state entities. The bill would prohibit those entities from requiring proof of vaccination, proof of the presence of COVID antibodies, or proof of recovery status before allowing access to property, funds, or services from the state. The bill prohibits the state from requiring private businesses to obtain proof of vaccination and bans private businesses from requiring customers to provide proof of vaccination before serving those customers.
Employers are still allowed to impose vaccine mandates upon their employees, but the bill carves out several exemptions for employees. Employees can provide proof of COVID antibodies instead of vaccination. The employer will have to exempt the employee from the vaccination requirement if the employee provides a letter from a doctor certifying that the vaccine would endanger the life or health of the employee. Finally, employees can also provide a letter to employers stating that their religious, philosophical, or moral beliefs are opposed to immunization.
The bill would not apply to employers or contractors who have to comply with federal vaccine mandates. It passed in the House by an 80-11 vote and has moved on to the North Dakota Senate.