Requires certain employers allow medical & religious exemptions to required COVID-19 vaccines

State: NE
Bill Number: LB 906
Position: WATCH
Action Required: None
Status: Enacted, effective 2/28/2022

Legislation Details:

UPDATE: LB 906 was signed by the governor and went into effect on 2/28/2022.  Final version -  The bill requires the department to develop exemption forms to employer mandated COVID-19 Vaccines for employees to use for medical reasons and sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance reasons within 15 days of the effective date.  The text of the exemption form that is posted on the Nebraska Health & Human Services web site on 3/10/2022 includes two spaces where the "deciding official"  can either grant or deny the exemption.  Form posted on 3/10/2022 -

LB 906 does not have any penalty or enforcement mechanism that would apply if a "deciding official" denied an exemption. 

UPDATE: 2/23/2022 - LB 906 is up for a final reading on 2/23/2022.  Final version text -

The final version requires employers, except for a United States corporation owned by the government of the United States, or an Indian tribe or a bona fide private membership club, other than a labor organization, which is exempt from taxation under section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code, that mandate COVID-19 Vaccines to accept medial and religious exemptions. 

The department shall develop a vaccine exemption form for an individual to claim an exemption from receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.  If an employer grants an exemption, they can require the employee to be tested at the employer's expense or use personal protective equipment.  

A medicare-certified or medicaid-certified provider or supplier or a federal contractor may require additional processes, documentation, or accommodations as necessary to be in compliance with federal law and to maintain compliance with the rules and regulations of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

UPDATE: 2/15/2022 - Several amendments have been filed, withdrawn and lost for LB 906.  You can read them on the history detail page. 4 amendments filed for LB 906 by Senator Hunt that are listed as priority would further weaken this bill - 

UPDATE: 2/10/2022 - The NE Senate voted 33 to 0 to advance the amended version of LB 906 to enrolling.  News article - 

UPDATE: 2/2/2022 - The Health & Human Services Committee filed a substitute for LB 906 on 1/31/2022.  See amendment 1729 -  

This amendment would require all employers with one or more employees that require COVID-19 Vaccines to allow for exemptions for medical reasons or religious beliefs.  The health department shall develop the exemption forms and make them available on their website.  The exemptions would not apply to US corporations, Indian Tribes and private membership clubs.  

NVIC Advocacy's position is still watch because the bill does not provide any protections for those working for the US Government or Indian Tribes.  In addition, there are no exemptions for natural immunity or personal beliefs and there is no penalty for employers who do not comply. NVIC Advocacy does not support vaccine mandates.  While the bill would help people who have a medical issue or religious belief opposed to vaccination, this bill allows employers to mandate COVID-19 Vaccines with limited exemptions.

UPDATE: 1/29/2022 - There are two amendments to LB 906 that have been filed by the sponsor of LB 906, Senator Ben Hansen.  These amendments would improve LB 906, however NVIC Advocacy's position would still be watch if they were adopted.  Both amendments still allow employers to mandate COVID-19 Vaccines and require the employee to use a state form to exempt from employer mandates for medical reasons or the individual's sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance.  Those exempted would still have to be tested. 

Text of proposed amendment 1687 -

Text of proposed amendment 1685 - - news article about the hearing 

UPDATE:  1/20/2022 - LB 906 is scheduled for a hearing in the Health and Human Services Committee on Thursday, Jan 27th at 1:30 PM in Room 1510. 

LB 906 was referred to Health and Human Services Committee on 1/10/2022.  This bill is sponsored by Senator Ben Hansen with several cosponsors. 

This bill would require an employer with 20 or more employees, except for those employed by the United States government or an Indian tribe, to allow an employee to exempt from mandated vaccines based on the employee's strong moral, ethical, or philosophical belief or conviction.  The exemption would be on a form developed by the Department of Health and Human Services.  Employers could require periodic testing and the use of personal protective equipment provided by the employer for those who exempt. 

NVIC Advocacy does not support vaccine mandates.  This bill is an endorsement of employer mandates with limited exemptions.  Nebraska legislators should prohibit vaccine mandates and discrimination based on vaccination or immunity status for all Nebraska citizens. - text, status and history for LB 906