Governor Jim Justice has signed legislation (House Bill 335) that requires employers to provide an exemption process as an alternative to COVID-19 vaccination mandates. House Bill 335 takes effect on Jan. 18, 2022.
House Bill 335:
West Virginia has enacted legislation that requires employers who mandate vaccination for an employee or candidate to provide an alternative exemption process. House Bill 335 requires employers to exempt those who present one of the following certifications:
- A medical certification signed by a physician or advanced practice registered nurse who has conducted an in person examination stating:
- A notarized certification by the current or prospective employee stating that their religious beliefs prevent them from receiving COVID-19 immunization.
Employers are prohibited from penalizing or discriminating against current or prospective employees for their exercising exemption rights under the law. This includes benefits decisions, hiring, firing, or withholding bonuses, pay raises, or promotions.
West Virginia employers should consult legal counsel to discuss the impact of House Bill 335 on their vaccination policies and practices. Please contact your dedicated service professional with any questions.