Governor Greg Abbott has taken a significant step in safeguarding the personal healthcare choices and livelihoods of Texans by signing into law Senate Bill 7 during Special Session #3 of the 88th Legislature at the Governor’s Mansion in Austin. This legislation prohibits private employers from mandating COVID-19 vaccinations as a condition of employment for their employees or contractors.
Under this new law, private employers in Texas are explicitly barred from compelling their workforce to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Violations of this prohibition carry a substantial penalty, with employers facing a $50,000 fine along with the potential for legal action and injunctive relief from the Texas Attorney General. Governor Abbott emphasized the importance of upholding individual freedom, stating that it is time to move beyond the era of COVID-19 mandates and restore liberty to all Texans.
This recent enactment adds to the Governor’s prior commitment to protecting Texans from COVID-19 vaccine mandates. Earlier this year, Abbott signed a comparable law that prohibited any government entity in the state from imposing COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
During the bill signing ceremony, Governor Abbott was accompanied by Senators Bob Hall and Mayes Middleton, as well as Representatives Brad Buckley, Briscoe Cain, Cody Harris, Brian Harrison, Cole Hefner, Jeff Leach, Nate Schatzline, Mike Schofield, Steve Toth, and Cody Vasut. The presence of these officials and healthcare freedom advocates underscored the collaborative effort to champion the cause throughout the legislative process.
Senate Bill 7, sponsored by Senators Middleton and Leach, not only restricts private employers from mandating COVID-19 vaccinations but also empowers the Texas Workforce Commission to investigate complaints lodged by employees, contractors, or prospective individuals. These complaints can allege adverse actions taken by employers or potential employers against those who choose not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
In taking this legislative stance, Governor Abbott and the Texas Legislature have reaffirmed their commitment to preserving individual freedoms and protecting the autonomy of Texans in making their own healthcare decisions. The signing of Senate Bill 7 marks a pivotal moment in the ongoing efforts to navigate the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic while prioritizing the rights and choices of the people of Texas.