A state lawmaker in Oklahoma has introduced a bill that would hit employers as much as $1 million in punitive damages for each injury caused by the enforcement of the Biden vaccine mandate that has been halted federal court, said Becker News.
Sen. Rob Standridge has filed Senate Bill 1106, the “Citizen Health Mandate Protection Act,” aimed at both public and private entities and individuals that require vaccines or other medical treatments as a condition of employment.
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— Oklahoma State Senate (@oksenate) November 12, 2021
“If the employer knowingly required the vaccination or treatment without confirming its safety based on publicly available medical testing and documentation, upon a finding of liability after a claim, the employer will automatically be subject to $1 million in punitive damages,” said a statement by Sen. Rob Standridge, a Republican from Norman, Okla.
President Joe Biden has signed orders mandating all employers with more than 100 employees have each employee vaccinated or face burdensome testing.
The 5th Circuit Court called the mandate “a one-size-fits-all sledgehammer that makes hardly any attempt to account for differences in workplaces (and workers)” said CNBC.
The court has issued a stay in the case, preventing enforcement of the mandate until the legal validity of the mandate can be decided, likely by the Supreme Court.
But just in case, Standridge hopes his bill give employers pause about making employees get vaccinated.
The legislation won’t be considered until the legislature convenes again in February of 2022.
Standridge said that he’s trying to close the loophole that leaves individuals without recourse if vaccines have side effects or cause injuries.
“Many Oklahomans may not know that COVID-19 vaccines have already been given liability protection from the federal government,” Standridge said, according to local Fox 25 news.
“If an employee is required to receive the vaccine or some other medical treatment as a condition of employment and it causes that person harm, our citizens need to know they’ll have some recourse that will provide them with meaningful relief,” he continued. “That’s what my legislation will do.”
Previously, Standridge, a pharmacist, sponsored a bill that was passed in Oklahoma that restricted vaccine passports and mask mandates.
“Masking children should not be an easily taken step, especially when many enforcing the mandate were often not wearing masks themselves,” Standridge said about the new law, according to the Journal Record.
“This legislation raises the bar on when schools can force students to wear masks,” he said. “Most importantly, schools cannot force unvaccinated children to wear masks. Additionally, students should not be forced to get the COVID vaccine to enroll or attend school.”