New Indiana Law Restricts Employers’ COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements

On March 3, 2022, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb signed into law House Bill 1001, which restricts COVID-19 vaccination requirements in the workplace.


An employer may not impose a requirement that employees receive a COVID-19 vaccination unless the employer provides individual exemptions that allow an employee to opt out of the requirement on the basis of any of the following: (1) medical reasons; (2) religious reasons; or (3) an employee has immunity from COVID-19 acquired from prior infection with COVID-19. 


An employer may require an employee to submit to testing for the presence of COVID-19, but not more than twice a week, if the employee receives one of the above exemptions. Employers are not required to pay for the cost of testing for those employees that receive one of the above exemptions.

Employer and Employee Defined

“Employer” is defined as sole proprietors, corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, or other entities with one or more employees. It does not include the United States and its agencies and instrumentalities, federal contractors, federal subcontractors, or health care facilities that are subject to a federal vaccination requirement.

“Employee” is defined as an individual who works for an employer on a full-time or part-time basis, either paid or unpaid, independent contractors, subcontractors, and a student who works as a trainee or an intern.

Documentation Requirement 

Unless an employer waives the documentation requirement, to claim an exemption based on medical reasons, an employee must present to the employer an exemption statement in writing, dated and signed by a licensed physician, a licensed physician’s assistant, or an advanced practice registered nurse who has examined the employee. The statement must provide that the COVID-19 vaccination is medically contraindicated for the employee.

To claim an exemption based on religious reasons, an employee must present an exemption statement in writing indicating that the employee declines COVID-19 vaccination because of a sincerely held religious belief.

To claim an exemption based on immunity from COVID-19 acquired from a prior infection with COVID-19, an employee must present to the employer the employee’s positive test result. Thereafter, an employer may request that an employee submit a new test not more than once every three months.

This law does not require employers to impose a COVID-19 vaccination requirement in the workplace. However, those covered employers that do have such a requirement or plan to implement such a requirement must comply with this law.   

For additional information on this or any related topic, please contact any of the KDDK Labor and Employment Law professionals.

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