Assigned to JUD                                                                                                                                                                                                   AS PASSED BY COMMITTEE
ARIZONA STATE SENATE
Fifty-Sixth Legislature, First Regular Session
employer liability; COVID-19 vaccine requirement
Specifies that, if an employer denies a religious exemption and requires a person to receive certain vaccinations as a prerequisite to or a requirement for maintaining employment, the employer is liable to the person for damages that result from a significant injury that is caused by receiving the vaccination.
If an employer receives notice from an employee that the employee's sincerely held religious beliefs, practices or observances prevent the employee from taking the COVID-19 vaccination, the employer must provide a reasonable accommodation unless the accommodation would pose an undue hardship and more than a de minimus cost to the operation of the employer's business (A.R.S.   23-206).
There is no anticipated fiscal impact to the state General Fund associated with this legislation.
1.   Specifies that, if an employer denies a religious exemption and requires a person to receive a vaccination as a prerequisite to or requirement for maintaining employment, the employer is liable to the person for damages that result from a significant injury that is caused by receiving the vaccination.
2.   Specifies that a claimant who prevails in the action:
a)   must be awarded actual damages, court costs and reasonable attorney fees or statutory damages of $1,000,000, whichever is greater; and
b)   in addition to an award, is allowed to recover exemplary damages.
3.   Specifies that the outlined rights and remedies supplement any other rights and remedies provided by law, including workers' compensation claims and common law rights.
4.   Defines vaccination as a COVID vaccination and any vaccination that has received emergency use authorization.
5.   Becomes effective on the general effective date.
Amendments Adopted by Committee
Expands the types of vaccinations for which an employer can be held liable to include any COVID vaccination or any vaccination that has received emergency use authorization.
JUD         2/16/23         DPA         3-2-2
Prepared by Senate Research
February 17, 2023