Illinoisans who refuse to get vaccinated or comply with workplace coronavirus mandates could soon be fired for their convictions, thanks to a change in the state’s decades-old health care conscience law.
Gov. J.B Pritzker pushed for and on Nov. 8 signed the amendment to Illinois’ Health Care Right of Conscience Act to limit the law being used to challenge his workplace COVID-19 mandates. The change will allow Pritzker to fight legal challenges and employers to discipline employees for refusing to comply with COVID-19 rules, including mandatory vaccinations and testing.
“Masks, vaccines, and testing requirements are life-saving measures that keep our workplaces and communities safe,” Pritzker said. He said he is grateful the act “is no longer wrongly used against institutions who are putting safety and science first.”
Public employee unions, especially police, have fought back on the vaccination mandates, with Chicago’s police union chief battling the city’s mayor. After Pritzker signed the law, Illinois Fraternal Order of Police President Chris Southwood on Nov. 9 called him a “dictator.”
“Freedom-loving citizens all across the state have been stripped of their basic right to conscientious choice and can now be discriminated against because of their conscientious refusal to have COVID vaccines forced on them,” Southwood told WMAY.
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