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March 2022: Nebraska Now Mandating Vaccine Exemptions

23 Mar

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Update Applicable to:
All employers in the state of Nebraska

What happened?
On February 28, 2022, Governor Ricketts signed Legislative Bill 906 (LB 906) into law, mandating certain vaccine exemptions.

What are the details?
Effective immediately, any employer—public or private—that requires its job applicants or employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 now must grant an exemption from vaccination for individuals who provide a completed vaccine exemption form, available from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (NDHHS), seeking an exemption based on a medical or religious reason.

The simple, one-page form is now available and can be found here. An employer need not require the NDHHS form, although that does not alter the employer’s obligation to grant medical or religious exemptions under this new law.

In the vaccine exemption form, the individual must declare either:

  1. that a healthcare practitioner has provided the individual with a signed written statement that, in the healthcare practitioner’s opinion, receiving a COVID-19 vaccine is either medically contraindicated for the individual or medical necessity requires the individual to delay receiving such vaccine; or
  2. that receiving a COVID-19 vaccine would conflict with the individual’s sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance.

Those seeking an exemption for medical reasons must also provide the signed written statement from a healthcare practitioner identified in the completed form.

Additionally, the statute explicitly states that certain employers, such as Medicare-certified or Medicaid-certified providers or suppliers or federal contractors, may require additional processes, documentation, or accommodations for them to comply with their obligations under federal law and the rules and regulations under the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). This means the CMS vaccine mandates supersedes Nebraska’s LB 906 and employers who fall under this need to keep the CMS still in mind.

For more information, please see the links below:

Legislative Bill 906 (LB 906)

Article

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links provided above and grant their employees exemption from the vaccine if requested for the reasons as stated above and in the bill.

Vensure encourages employers to reach out to local health departments in case of any specific rules or mandates that could have an effect.

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This communication is intended solely for the purpose of conveying information. The present post might incorporate hyperlinks directing readers to websites managed by third-party entities. The inclusion of any links within this communication is meant to serve as points of reference and could encompass opinion articles from various law firms, articles from HR associations, official websites, news releases, and documents of government agencies, and other relevant third-party sources. Vensure has no authority over these external websites and bears no responsibility for their content. Furthermore, Vensure does not endorse the materials present on these websites. The contents of this communication should not be interpreted as legal advice or as a legal standpoint concerning specific facts or scenarios. Nor should it be deemed an exhaustive compilation of facts potentially pertinent to federal, state, or local laws. It is strongly advised that employers solicit legal guidance from an employment attorney when undertaking actions in response to any legal updates provided. This is due to the possibility of future alterations occurring in federal, state, and local laws, regulations, as well as the directives and guidelines issued by governing agencies. These changes may transpire at any given time, potentially rendering certain portions of the content within this update void or inaccurate.

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