vaccine mandates

Here is the GOP’s omnibus anti-COVID 19-restrictions bill

Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson (R-Franklin) attends a meeting on Oct. 18, 2021. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Republicans lawmakers are pushing to outlaw COVID-19 vaccine requirements for customers and employees and coming closer to banning mask mandates in schools. Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson (R-Franklin) in introducing the omnibus amendment acknowledges many elements are “contrary to the tenets we hold sacred” as far as pro-business polices are concerned. But Johnson says current circumstances require a special response.

Here’s the amendment:

AMEND Senate Bill No. 9014 House Bill No. 9077*

by deleting all language after the enacting clause and substituting instead the following:

SECTION 1. Tennessee Code Annotated, is amended by adding the following as a new


Title 14 – COVID-19

Chapter 1 – General Provisions

14-1-101. Definitions.

As used in this title, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) “Adverse action” means to:

(A) Discriminate against a person by denying the person employment, credit, insurance, access, products, services, or other benefits; or

(B) Discharge, threaten, or otherwise discriminate against an employee in any manner that affects the employee’s employment, including compensation, terms, conditions, locations, rights, immunities, promotions, or privileges;

(2) “Applicant” means a person who has applied for employment with an employer;

(3) “Arising from COVID-19” means caused by or resulting from the actual, alleged, or possible exposure to or contraction of COVID-19, or caused by or resulting from services, treatment, or other actions in response to COVID-19, including, but not limited to:

(A) Implementing policies and procedures to prevent or minimize the spread of COVID-19; however, “arising from COVID-19” does not include implementing policies and procedures that violate this title;

(B) Testing;

(C) Monitoring, collecting, reporting, tracking, tracing, disclosing, or investigating COVID-19 exposure or other COVID-19-related information;

(D) Using, designing, manufacturing, providing, donating, or servicing precautionary, diagnostic, collection, or other health equipment or supplies, such as personal protective equipment;

(E) Closing or partially closing to prevent or minimize the spread of COVID-19;

(F) Delaying or modifying the schedule or performance of any medical procedure; or

(G) Providing services or products in response to government appeal or repurposing operations to address an urgent need for personal protective equipment, sanitation products, or other products necessary to protect the public;

(4) “COVID-19” means the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, and coronavirus disease 2019, commonly referred to as COVID-19, including any variant of SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19;

(5) “COVID-19 vaccine” means a substance used to stimulate the production of antibodies and provide protection against COVID-19, prepared from the causative agent of COVID-19, its products, or a synthetic substitute, and treated to act as an antigen without inducing a COVID-19 infection

(6) “Employer” means a person, private business, or governmental entity employing one (1) or more persons within this state;

(7) “Face covering” means a protective covering designed to be worn over the nose and mouth to reduce the spread of COVID-19, but “face covering” does not include an industry required mask;

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