September 25, 2021

Volume XI, Number 268

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September 24, 2021

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September 23, 2021

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Alabama Attorney General Issues Public Notice Summarizing State Law on Vaccine Requirements

On May 24, 2021, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed into law Senate Bill 267 (Act No. 2021-493), a measure prohibiting state entities and private businesses from requiring individuals to show proof of vaccination in order to receive goods or services. Following “an increase in legal questions related to … COVID-19 vaccination[s],” Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall issued a public notice on July 26, 2021, summarizing Alabama law on vaccination requirements and related matters.

The first page of the notice states in bold that “no government, school, or business in Alabama may demand that a constituent, student, or customer, respectively, be vaccinated for COVID-19 or show proof of his or her vaccination for COVID-19.” The public notice also clarifies that a part of the statute protecting consumers of goods and services from such demands “does not address employer-employee relationships.”

The public notice goes on to state the following:

Thus, [the law] cannot be read to prohibit private employers from requiring employees to vaccinate against COVID-19. While a business may inquire about the vaccination status of a consumer or request that unvaccinated consumers wear a mask or social distance, the business may not require proof of vaccination or discriminate against the consumer based on a refusal to confirm his or her vaccination status.

Key Takeaways

Alabama’s recently enacted statute addressing “vaccine or immunization passports” does not prohibit private employers from requiring employees to receive COVID-19 vaccines. Further, while Alabama retailers and other businesses may continue to request that customers wear masks and/or social distance, the law does not permit businesses to require proof of vaccination.

© 2021, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 215
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About this Author

Gordon Blair Litigation Lawyer Ogletree

Gordon L. Blair began his professional career practicing general civil litigation, with a focus on commercial and employment litigation.  He also served as the associate general counsel of a publicly traded manufacturing company.  Gordon joined Ogletree Deakins in 2002.

At Ogletree Deakins, Gordon continues to devote a substantial portion of his practice to general litigation, regularly representing colleges and universities, contractors, healthcare providers, manufacturers and retailers in personal injury, construction, tort, and contract...

205-714-4427
Morgan Epperson Labor Attorney

Morgan represents employers in a broad range of labor and employment law matters, defending clients against claims of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wage and hour violations.

Before joining Ogletree, Morgan graduated from the University of Alabama School of Law, where she served on the Alabama Law Review, the National Labor and Employment Moot Court Team, the Moot Court Board, and Bench and Bar Legal Honor Society. During law school, Morgan clerked at Ogletree’s Birmingham office and interned at both the United States District Court for the Northern District...

205-714-4426
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