The Texas House of Representatives has passed SB 7, a bill banning employer COVID vaccine mandates. The bill will go back to the Senate to approve changes made by the House before being sent to Governor Greg Abbott’s desk to sign the bill into law. It is unknown how many employers require proof of COVID vaccination as a condition of employment. If this bill is signed into law, which is almost certain, Texas employers would not be able to require employees or contractors to have a COVID vaccine. This includes current employees and potential new hires.

“No Texan should be fired for whatever reason, whether it’s religious, conscience, or medical, for not getting the vaccine,” said Representative Jeff Leach in an interview with Rudy Koski, Fox 7 in Austin, TX. “Right now, we have employers in the state of Texas that are firing or as a condition for continued employment telling their employees, ‘you have to get a vaccine.'”

In October 2021, Governor Greg Abbott signed an executive order to require exemptions for vaccine mandates, effectively banning COVID vaccine mandates in Texas. That executive order stated that it would remain in effect until a more robust law passed the legislature for Abbott to sign.

On May 11, 2023, the Biden Administration ended the COVID public health emergency and the COVID vaccine mandate for federal employees. Private employers did not implement vaccine mandates based on the emergency declaration, so there is still an option for employers to mandate the vaccine based on the “General Duty Clause” from the OSHA Act of 1970. The clause states that employers should provide a work environment “free from recognized hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm.”

While the executive order was supposed to remain in effect, that order lapsed after the Biden Administration ended the public health emergency. That explains the push by the House and Senate to pass this bill to protect employees from being forced to vaccinate to maintain or obtain employment. The General Duty Clause passed in the OSHA bill in 1970 could be used to require employees not vaccinated for COVID-19 to wear a face mask or other protective gear. Under this bill, the legislature wanted to ensure employers still had options to protect their workers.

“All employers want a safe workplace,” Leach said in the interview with Koski. “If you’ve got a certain employee or seven employees that, let’s say, for reasons of conscience or medical reasons or religion, decide I don’t want to be forced to get this vaccine. Then, that employer can work with that employee, with those employees to make reasonable accommodations to either work from home or work from another area of the office, as long as it’s not an adverse employment action. As long as they’re not retaliating for firing that employee, then those employers would still be protected.”

According to the National Academy for State Health Policy, there are only 18 states that require employers to provide exemptions to any COVID vaccine mandate. As of June 30, the remaining states still allow employers to require the COVID vaccine as a condition for employment or contract.

The Texas bill had one modification in the House: to increase the penalty from $10,000 to $50,000 if an employer is mandating the COVID vaccine as a condition of employment. If an employer penalizes a person, otherwise known as an adverse employment action, there would also be grounds for a claim against the company for violating this bill. The Senate will now vote to approve or deny this change in the bill’s language.


Steven Middendorp

Steven Middendorp is an investigative journalist, musician, and teacher. He has been a freelance writer and journalist for over 20 years. More recently, he has focused on issues dealing with corruption and negligence in the judicial system. He is a homesteading hobby farmer who encourages people to grow their own food, eat locally, and care for the land that provides sustenance to the community.

Other Headlines


Subpoena Uncovers COVID-19 Email Secrets Amid Whistleblower Allegations

A subpoena has been issued to Dr. David Morens to provide copies of emails related to COVID-19 from his personal account as part of the investigation by the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic. During the pandemic, Dr. Morens worked closely with Dr. Anthony Fauci at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Committee Chairman Brad Wenstrup announced the subpoenaContinue reading Subpoena Uncovers COVID-19 Email Secrets Amid Whistleblower Allegations

More news about Coronavirus

Health & Nutrition

Study Shows 98% Of Children Grow Out of Gender Confusion by Adulthood

A new study concludes that 98% of gender-confused children grow out of it and will become comfortable with the gender that corresponds to their birth sex by the time they reach adulthood. The age with the highest rate of gender confusion is the age of 11, which is just before the typical onset of puberty.  TheContinue reading Study Shows 98% Of Children Grow Out of Gender Confusion by Adulthood

More news about Health & Nutrition


Entries Within V-Safe Data Release Raise Eyebrows

The first batch of free-text V-safe data was released on February 15th, after a court victory. With 390,000 free text entries, it is time-consuming to browse and find the most revealing details. There was one comment that said “death,” and another said, “died.” There were several results for “miscarriage,” while a few more comments mentionedContinue reading Entries Within V-Safe Data Release Raise Eyebrows

More news about Vaccines

Science & Tech

USDA Reopens Comment Period for Deregulation of Gene-Edited Plants

The deregulation of gene-edited plants is on the USDA agenda, and the public comment period has been extended by 21 days. The comment page has yet to be posted on the Federal Register. CRISPR is a new technology that is being used in agriculture to modify plants. “New Gene Technologies” or NGTs are how big agricultural companies like Bayer areContinue reading USDA Reopens Comment Period for Deregulation of Gene-Edited Plants

More news about Science & Tech


Unpacking the Global Health Security Strategy: Surveillance, Sustainability, and “One Health” Approach

President Joe Biden announced the release of a  U.S. Global Health Security Strategy (GHSS). The synopsis of the new plan states, “The new Global Health Security Strategy articulates a whole-of-government, science-based approach to strengthening global health security.” The plan is further explained as a necessary approach to mitigate harm from future pandemics while partnering with 50 countries.  In the aftermathContinue reading Unpacking the Global Health Security Strategy: Surveillance, Sustainability, and “One Health” Approach

More news about Environment


First Amendment Under Fire: Lawmakers and Journalists Speak Out at Capitol Hill Hearing

Freedom of the press is established in the First Amendment of the Constitution, but government surveillance of journalists continues to threaten that constitutional right more than 230 years later. That was the topic of a House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing regarding the Press Act (Protect Reporters from Exploitative State Spying) that would establish further protections forContinue reading First Amendment Under Fire: Lawmakers and Journalists Speak Out at Capitol Hill Hearing

More news about Policy