View all Articles

Texas Ban on Private Sector COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates Has Taken Effect

Effective on February 6, 2024, Senate Bill 7 prohibits private employers in Texas from requiring COVID-19 vaccinations as a condition of employment. 

The law applies to all private employers, contractors, and job applicants in the state. Under the law, employers cannot: 

  • Mandate COVID-19 vaccination for employment. 
  • Discriminate against employees or applicants based on vaccination status. 
  • Retaliate against employees who file complaints. 

However, it is important to highlight that healthcare facilities are granted an exception, allowing them to implement “reasonable policies” based on the risk employees may pose to patients. 

The Texas Workforce Commission will investigate complaints and impose fines of up to $50,000 per violation. 

Next Steps 

To adhere to the new legislation, employers should take the following steps: 

  • Review and update workplace safety and health policies by carefully assessing their current policies to ensure that they do not require COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of employment; 
  • Updating employee handbooks and communications to inform employees about the new law and provide them with a clear understanding of their rights under it; 
  • Prepare for potential complaints and implement a well-defined process for handling employee complaints related to vaccination status, ensuring a fair and transparent resolution; and 
  • Seek legal advice if there are any concerns or questions regarding compliance with the law. 

HR Works, headquartered in Upstate New York, is a human resource management outsourcing and consulting firm serving clients throughout the United States for over thirty years. HR Works provides scalable strategic human resource management and consulting services, including: affirmative action programs; benefits administration outsourcing; HRIS self-service technology; full-time, part-time and interim on-site HR managers; HR audits; legally reviewed employee handbooks and supervisor manuals; talent management and recruiting services; and training of managers and HR professionals.