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Arkansas requires exemption process for COVID-19 vaccination requirements

11/04/21

Author: ADP Admin/Wednesday, November 3, 2021/Categories: Compliance Corner , State Compliance Update, Arkansas

Arkansas has enacted legislation (House Bill 1977) that requires employers to provide an exemption process as an alternative to COVID-19 vaccination mandates. House Bill 1977 takes effect on or about January 13, 2022 and expires on July 31, 2023, unless extended.

Under the law, when an employer requires or is mandated to require COVID-19 vaccination, the employer must provide an exemption process that allows the employee to produce either of the following instead:

  • A negative antigen detection test result or molecular diagnostic test result no more than one time per week showing that the employee isn’t positive for COVID-19; or
  • Proof of immunity for the COVID-19 virus, including the presence of antibodies, T cell response, or proof of a positive COVID-19 test, on a basis of two times per year, not exceed one time every six months, from a licensed healthcare provider.

The law states that if an employee complies with the requirements of the exemption process, employers are prohibited from terminating them for violating a COVID-19 vaccination requirement.

The law requires that employers offer this exemption process in addition to any other exemption the employer provides.

Note: Employers aren’t required to pay for the testing.

Compliance Recommendations:

Arkansas employers should consult legal counsel to discuss the impact of House Bill 1977 on their vaccination policies and practices. Please contact your dedicated service professional with any questions.

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