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Ohio Chamber continues opposition of anti-vaccine requirements bill

COLUMBUS — In June 2021, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce first publicly voiced opposition to House Bill 248.

The House Health Committee is revisiting the bill next week, and the Ohio Chamber will once again testify against the legislation.

H.B. 248, the Vaccine Choice and Anti-Discrimination Act, prohibits business owners from requiring mandatory vaccinations and vaccination status disclosures from their employees. This would apply to employers, schools, health care providers and any other private or public entities.

“It’s time for lawmakers to stop trying to dictate workplace policies that interfere with the ability of employers to ensure the safety and wellbeing of employees and others who enter places of business,” Ohio Chamber president and CEO Steve Stivers said. “Businesses continue to do the best they can in responding to the many challenges and consequences of the COVID crisis. They don’t need to be micro-managed by the government telling them how to best run their business.”

The Ohio Chamber opposes H.B. 248 because the bill conflicts with Ohio’s at-will employment laws, which allow employers to dismiss an employee for any reason, without warning. The Ohio Chamber’s mission is to act as the voice of business in Ohio, which includes advocating for free enterprise and the rights of business owners across the state. The Chamber believes that H.B. 248 directly counteracts these goals by infringing upon employers’ rights.

“It’s ironic that, since the beginning of the pandemic, many of the same lawmakers who have been pushing back against what they see as government overreach are the ones now calling for more government controls on business,” said Stivers. “No legislator can claim to be pro-business and at the same time support efforts to restrict an employer’s ability to manage their workplace free from government interference. The Ohio Chamber is simply asking for them to be consistent.”

As the state’s leading business advocate and resource, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce aggressively champions free enterprise, economic competitiveness and growth for the benefit of all Ohioans. With members ranging from small businesses to international companies, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce represents Ohio’s business voice.