Kansas Attorney General Warns Employers of New Vaccine Waiver
TOPEKA, Kansas – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt spent the day warning some employers after a new state law came into effect on Tuesday.
The law, which was passed in a special session earlier in the week, prevents employers from questioning an employee about their religious beliefs when the employee claims a religious waiver of a COVID-19 requirement.
The Kansas attorney general’s office confirmed that Schmidt spent Wednesday contacting employers who he said could violate the new law. Schmidt advised every employer to immediately cease and desist from questioning and accept all employee requests for religious waivers, no questions asked.
Schmidt also called on all employees to review and update the procedures for granting employee waivers.
The AG said he was aware of some employers who have asked employees who claim religious waiver to fill out detailed questionnaires about their beliefs. Some public employers have established review boards to assess the questionnaires and determine whether the waiver request is genuine.
“In Kansas, an employee’s religious faith cannot be indicted in order to obtain the waiver to which the employee is entitled by law,” Schmidt said. “It is especially distressing when a public sector employer – a government agent – judges the sincerity of an employee’s religious faith. Under the new law now in force, it is not only painful, it is also illegal. “
Employees who feel they have been illegally interviewed or been denied a religious waiver can file a complaint with the Kansas Department of Labor. Employers who break the law and fail to correct actions can be penalized or fined.
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