On February 25, 2022, the Nebraska Legislature passed LB 906, which took effect immediately when Governor Pete Ricketts signed the bill on February 28, 2022. Under LB 906, if an employer subject to Nebraska law requires its employees or applicants to be vaccinated against COVID-19, it must also allow employees to claim a health or religious exemption from the requirement. Employees can claim an exemption by completing a written form indicating which exemption the employee is claiming and providing the required documentation to support that claim.
A sample vaccine exemption form is available here: https://dhhs.ne.gov/Documents/COVID-19-Vaccine-Exemption-Form.pdf. For the form to be complete, it must include a statement that either:
- a healthcare practitioner has provided a signed written statement that receiving a COVID-19 vaccine is medically inadvisable for the individual or that medical necessity requires the individual to delay receiving the vaccine; OR
- receiving the COVID-19 vaccine would conflict with the individual’s sincerely held religious beliefs.
Employees or applicants seeking the exemption will need to provide the employer with the completed vaccine exemption form and, if applicable, a copy of the signed written statement from the healthcare practitioner. If an employer grants the exemption, it may require the exempt employee to periodically test for COVID-19 and/or wear personal protective equipment, but it must be at the employer’s expense.
The new law applies to any employer with one or more employees, including the State of Nebraska, governmental agencies, and political subdivisions.
Charles Wilbrand and Carly Bahramzad are attorneys who specialize in employment law and are available to answer your questions.
Look for future blog posts with further details about COVID-19 and vaccine-related updates.