SUPPORT SB 31: Greater freedom of choice regarding COVID vaccinations

Executive Summary:
Senate Bill 31 would allow for greater freedom of choice regarding the COVID vaccine, particularly in relation to employment. The bill would prevent an employer from requiring one of their employees from getting vaccinated if doing so could be a significant health risk or if it violates the employee’s religious beliefs. The same liberties would be given to prospective employees. The bill would also make it so that employees can not be discriminated against by their employer for their vaccination status through the altering of their compensations or benefits. Civil action could also be brought against an employer for an alleged violation.

Senate Bill 31 respects the liberties of employees, ensuring one’s job security is not affected by a medical or religious determination. Without this bill, many Hoosiers may be forced to choose between obeying their conscience or holding down a stable job. If this is the case, something has gone fundamentally wrong in the way our state provides liberty. Senate Bill 31 would go a long way to maintain medical and religious freedom in our state. People with concerns about the unvaccinated are still free to take whatever COVID precautions they feel are necessary. However, one person’s concern over COVID or support for vaccinations does not give them the right to override the religious convictions of others. Additionally, by extending the same protections to prospective employees as it does to current employees, Senate Bill 31 could encourage some who have been out of a job due to worries over employer’s COVID requirements to reenter the workforce.

It is a fundamental American and Hoosier value that each individual person is the best judge of what is best for them, particularly concerning their own body and the tenets of their faith. If someone chooses not to get the COVID vaccinations for health or religious reasons, they should not have to fear losing their job. Many government and scientific leaders have of their own accord made the decision that their recommendations hold more value than personal religious convictions. With Senate Bill 31, the Indiana General Assembly gives proper respect to Hoosiers who could face health risks or religious violation from taking the COVID vaccine.

IFI supports SB 31.