Laws must not restrict freedom in workplaces

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For the past year and a half, countless Ohio business jobs have struggled to make ends meet and remain profitable in the midst of a global health crisis that has taken a toll on many’s economies and financial stability. 

During much of that time, they had no choice but to accept restrictions imposed by the governor and the Ohio Department of Health, such as shutdowns, visitor limits, bans on indoor service, and other measures. Unfortunately, many of those businesses could not weather the storm and were forced to close their doors permanently. 

This newspaper argued for a reduction in those restrictions during those months because we firmly believed that businesses should have the freedom to control how they operate. 

A new bill, Ohio House Bill 248, known as the Vaccine Choice and Anti-Discrimination Act, is being considered. If it is passed, it will make it illegal for employers to require mandatory vaccinations and vaccination status disclosures from their employees. Employers, schools, health care providers jobs, and any other private or public entity would be affected. 

This law would again deprive business owners of the ability to run their businesses as they see fit. Instead of the government imposing COVID-19 restrictions this time, the legislation would make it illegal for businesses to impose their own restrictions on employees or customers entering their workplaces. 

Legislators must stop going too far in their attempts to impose workplace policies that businesses should be able to handle. Let’s face it: businesses must protect their employees’ and customers’ health and well-being. As a result, this legislation must be repealed. 

The Ohio Chamber opposes the bill, which is expected to be reviewed soon by the House Health Committee and could testify about it in committee. 

 Ohio Chamber President and CEO Steve Stivers said this: “Businesses continue to do the best they can in responding to the many challenges and consequences of the COVID crisis. They don’t need to be micro-managed by the government telling them how to run their business best.” 

The Ohio Chamber adds that the bill conflicts with Ohio’s at-will employment laws and infringes upon employers’ rights. 

It’s ironic that, since the beginning of the pandemic, many of the same lawmakers who have been pushing back against what they see as government overreach are the ones now calling for more government controls on business,” Stivers said. “No legislator can claim to be pro-business and at the same time support efforts to restrict an employer’s ability to manage their workplace free from government interference.” 

Source: The Vindicator

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Should staff return to the office?

For example, it may persist with current Covid-19 precautions in the workplace, requiring employers to plan for social distancing and to provide extra hygiene facilities. There may also be special arrangements in place for Vulnerable workers, such as pregnant women and those who have been shielding during the crisis