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Governor Signs Legislation Clarifying Health Care Right of Conscience Act Does Not Apply to COVID-19 Safety Measures

Labor & Employment Publications

Yesterday, Governor Pritzker signed Senate Bill 1169 into law, clarifying the legislative intent of the Health Care Right of Conscience Act (HRCRA) to allow employers the right to “take any measure or impose any requirement…intended to prevent contraction or transmission of COVID-19.”

As previously discussed in our November 1, 2021 post, the HCRCA has recently gained notoriety as a way for individuals to avoid complying with employer-mandated vaccine and testing policies and other COVID-19 safety measures. This legislation clarifies that it is not a violation of the HCRCA to take workplaces measures intended to prevent the spread of deadly, communicable diseases like COVID-19. In a press release, Governor Pritzker stated, “[k]eeping workplaces safe is a high priority, and I applaud the General Assembly for ensuring that the Health Care Right of Conscience Act is no longer wrongly used against institutions who are putting safety and science first.”

This legislation is a victory for employers seeking to impose COVID-19 testing and vaccine mandates. For more detailed information about the legislation’s scope and effective date, please refer to our November 1, 2021 post.