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When the Iowa legislature passed House File 902 last fall during its special session, the law was clear — employers are required to accept and approve medical and religious exemptions for COVID vaccinations. And medical exemptions — or waivers — do not need to be filled out by any medical professional.

And nobody can be compelled to provide intrusive details. Here is what the law says:

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“An employer that requires an employee to receive a COVID-19 vaccine shall waive (must waive) the requirement if the employee, or, if the employee is a minor, the employee’s parent or legal guardian, requests a waiver and submits either of the following to the employer:

“A statement that receiving the vaccine would be injurious to the health and well-being of the employee or an individual residing with the employee.

“A statement that receiving the vaccine would conflict with the tenets and practices of a religion of which the employee is an adherent or member.”

Note — a statement, not an explanation or dissertation. A statement.

But here is the form being used for medical accommodations at Urbandale:

Vaccine Exemption form – MEDICAL

That is a five-page document. Certainly more than the law requires — a statement that receiving the vaccine would be injurious to the health and well-being of the employee or an individual residing with the employee.

Include is a section to be filled out by a health care provider.

Here is the religious accommodation form at Urbandale:

Vaccine Exemption Form – RELIGIOUS

Remember, the law states:

“A statement that receiving the vaccine would conflict with the tenets and practices of a religion of which the employee is an adherent or member.”

Yet the form from Urbandale asks employees if their religious belief system is part of a traditional, organized religion. It asks employees to name that religion. Then it asks if the beliefs of the individual differ with the beliefs of the religious system.

Then employees are asked when they adopted the beliefs and if their beliefs apply to all vaccinations.

It is unlikely that the Urbandale School District is the only employer asking such intrusive questions, which clearly go against the spirit of the law if not the law directly.

Author: Jacob Hall

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