Bailey urges TN hospitals to accept religious exemptions to vaccine mandates


(Nov. 19, 2021) - State Senator Paul Bailey (R-Sparta) has urged medical service providers across the state to grant religious exemptions to employees for the COVID-19 vaccine. He cites page 42 of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) rules as the reason medical service providers must allow exemptions to COVID-19 vaccine mandates. The rule applies Federal anti-discrimination laws to medical providers.

“All Tennesseans, including health care workers, should have the freedom to make personal health decisions without fear of punishment from employers,” said Bailey. “Religious and medical exemptions for the COVID-19 vaccine should be honored by all employers.  Liberty and medical freedoms do not end with our health care workers who have been crucial in our fight against COVID-19.”

“Under page 42 of the CMS rules, hospitals do not have the right to discriminate against an employee based on their vaccination status,” he continued. “I will work to ensure that no health care worker in Tennessee with a religious or medical exemption loses their job due to their vaccination status.”

The rule states that any entity must provide a hearing, process and/or review committee for any employee regarding medical and religious exemptions as well as other protections. Laws that apply to this rule include the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (RA); Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; the Pregnancy Discrimination Act; and the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act.

Section I, paragraph two goes on to explain that employers must comply with applicable anti-discrimination laws and civil rights protections.

In October, the Tennessee General Assembly held a special session to fight unconstitutional federal COVID-19 related mandates and ensure Tennesseans have the freedom to choose how their families respond to the COVID-19 pandemic without losing their jobs.

“I was proud to support the strong legislation we passed to protect the constitutional rights of Tennesseans,” added Bailey. “I will continue to fight for our citizens’ rights to maintain control over their medical decisions.”


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