Gov. Gianforte Reaffirms Montana Law Banning Vaccination Mandate
U.S. Circuit Court Halts Biden’s Employer Vaccination Mandate
November 24, 2021 | View PDF
Helena, MT - Nov. 16 - Governor Greg Gianforte issued the following statement regarding COVID-19 vaccination mandates by employers in Montana:
“Despite President Biden’s efforts to mandate vaccinations for employers and their employees, Montana law remains the law of the land, and no employer in our state should use President Biden’s OSHA rule, now halted by a federal court, as a basis for imposing illegal vaccination requirements on employees.”
Codified under Montana’s Human Rights Act, House Bill 702 prohibits discrimination based on an individual’s vaccination status. It prohibits an employer from refusing employment, barring a person from employment, or discriminating in any term, condition, or privilege of employment based on vaccination status or whether the person has an immunity passport.
On Nov. 6, 2021, a federal appellate court agreed to temporarily stay an Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) requiring employees of covered employers to undergo COVID-19 vaccination or test weekly and wear masks.
On Nov.12, the court affirmed that ruling, ordering “OSHA take no steps to implement or enforce the Mandate until further court order.”
Reaffirming their initial ruling, the circuit court judges wrote, “For similar reasons, a stay is firmly in the public interest. From economic uncertainty to workplace strife, the mere specter of the Mandate has contributed to untold economic upheaval in recent months….The public interest is also served by maintaining our constitutional structure and maintaining the liberty of individuals to make intensely personal decisions according to their own convictions—even, or perhaps particularly, when those decisions frustrate government officials.”
A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page about House Bill 702, its protections, and how to file a vaccination status discrimination complaint is available on the Department of Labor & Industry’s website at https://erd.dli.mt.gov/human-rights/human-rights-laws/employment-discrimination/hb-702.
Individuals seeking to file a complaint about a violation of House Bill 702 can contact the Department’s Human Rights Bureau at 1-800-452-0807.