Assigned to JUD FOR COMMITTEE

 


 

 

 


ARIZONA STATE SENATE

Fifty-Sixth Legislature, First Regular Session

 

FACT SHEET FOR s.b. 1433

 

employer liability; COVID-19 vaccine requirement

Purpose

Specifies that, if an employer denies a religious exemption and requires a person to receive a COVID-19 vaccination as a prerequisite to or a requirement for maintaining employment, the employer is liable to the person for damages that result from a significant injury that is caused by receiving the COVID-19 vaccination.

Background

If an employer receives notice from an employee that the employee's sincerely held religious beliefs, practices or observances prevent the employee from taking the COVID-19 vaccination, the employer must provide a reasonable accommodation unless the accommodation would pose an undue hardship and more than a de minimus cost to the operation of the employer's business (A.R.S. 23-206).

There is no anticipated fiscal impact to the state General Fund associated with this legislation.

Provisions

1.   Specifies that, if an employer denies a religious exemption and requires a person to receive a COVID-19 vaccination as a prerequisite to or requirement for maintaining employment, the employer is liable to the person for damages that result from a significant injury that is caused by receiving the COVID-19 vaccination.

2.   Specifies that a claimant who prevails in the action:

a)   must be awarded actual damages, court costs and reasonable attorney fees or statutory damages of $1,000,000, whichever is greater; and

b)   in addition to an award, is allowed to recover exemplary damages.

3.   Specifies that the outlined rights and remedies supplement any other rights and remedies provided by law, including workers' compensation claims and common law rights.

4.   Becomes effective on the general effective date.

Prepared by Senate Research

February 14, 2023

ZD/SB/sr