House Bill 698 – Workers Compensation Related to Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccinations

Description of the invoice: House Bill 698 states that employees required to take the COVID-19 vaccine by their employer can seek compensation for any injuries they sustain as a result. This bill is similar to House Bill 464 introduced earlier this session.

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Does this violate the spirit or the letter of the United States Constitution or the Idaho Constitution?

H698 creates Idaho Code Section 72-452, to clarify that “when an employer requires an employee to receive a COVID-19 vaccination as part of their employment or as a condition of employment or continued employment employment, any accident or injury caused by such vaccination shall be compensable.”

Basically, the idea that an employer should be liable for damages caused by an action he has ordered is positive. But there are potential problems with how this proposal would implement that idea.

Primarily, this legislation shifts responsibility for vaccine damage from the government to private companies. While the U.S. Supreme Court used a Jan. 13 ruling to suspend a proposed mandate on large employers, it left a federal vaccine mandate standing for employers who receive Medicare/Medicaid dollars. This policy applies to large hospitals, private clinics and long-term care facilities. These health care providers cannot reject Medicare/Medicaid money without denying care to their patients or providing care without receiving compensation for the treatment they provide. In this case, the responsibility for any injuries caused by the COVID-19 vaccine should lie with the federal government, not private companies. This legislation offers no protection against the undue burden that such a mandate would impose on these employers.

However, it should be noted that this legislation provides the necessary protection for individuals employed by companies that voluntarily implement vaccination mandates without government requirements. In truth, any government, institution, or company that mandates vaccination or any other medical procedure should be directly and fully responsible for any damage or injury caused by the vaccine or the mandatory medical procedure.

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