Mandatory vaccines should be up to employers

Some Ohio lawmakers seem bent on steering as much control and decision-making back to Columbus as possible. What is surprising for many is the number of those lawmakers who also call themselves Republicans. Most recently, the Ohio House Commerce and Labor Committee advanced a new version of House Bill 218, which would prohibit K-12 schools, colleges and employers from requiring COVID-19 vaccines that have not yet been fully approved by the federal government, among other things.

At nearly the same time, the Ohio Department of Health was releasing new information that gives employers even MORE reason to believe their employees should be as protected as possible against a new surge in the deadly delta variant of COVID-19.

The Ohio Manufacturer’s Association is rightly opposed to HB 218, which would, as the OMA put it, “restrict employers’ workplace safety options during COVID-19.”

“House Bill 218 is the same backwards approach tried at the Statehouse earlier this year,” OMA President Ryan Augsburger said. “At best, this bill is an unnecessary invasion of employer rights; at worst, it’s a foray into a centrally planned economy. It’s simply the wrong policy for Ohio.”

HB 218 is a sleight-of-hand attempt by State Rep. Al Cutrona, R-Mahoning, to gut what was originally a bill to exempt bars from statewide curfew orders. Thursday, the substitute version he introduced was all about expanding exemptions to the vaccine and keeping employers from being able to make their own decisions on the matter.

“Businesses remain in the best position to make decisions on issues directly impacting their operations,” Augsburger said, as the OMA urged lawmakers to reject HB 218.

Of course they do. One can only wonder why Cutrona and Co. are so eager to take away control of their own businesses from Buckeye State employers.

If politicians in Columbus take this decision away from employers, what’s next?


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