Don’t force employers to become ‘vaccine police,’ says Braun

OLYMPIA… Senate Republican Leader John Braun offered this statement today regarding Gov. Jay Inslee’s recent proclamation requiring employers to verify the COVID-19 vaccination status of employees who wish to work without wearing a mask.

“State government has consistently shown a lack of faith in the people’s ability to take precautions against COVID-19. Those handing down the ‘guidance’ don’t seem to recognize employers have nothing to gain by having either their customers or workers become ill. As more people get a closer look at this proclamation, they’re viewing it as another example of the same distrust and mismanagement seen from the executive branch for most of the past year – and a new way for government to control their lives.

“The governor will let employers have an honor system for customers who don’t want to wear a mask, but workers who don’t want to wear face coverings are automatically suspect? Employers shouldn’t have to become the ‘vaccine police’ for any reason. Senate Republicans have introduced legislation to prevent discrimination based on vaccination status in places of public accommodation. Compare that to how the Department of Labor and Industries is suggesting workers be marked according to their vaccination status.

“Leaders of the Democrat majority in the Legislature realized it would be a mistake to pursue a vaccine-passport policy. Trying to require a workplace passport by proxy is just as much of a mistake. I support vaccinations, and encourage people to consider vaccinations for themselves and their families. I also believe it is a personal choice that should be respected. It is wrong for the government to segregate people based on their vaccination decision. The governor’s emergency powers should not be used for coercion, which is another reason Republicans believe they need to be reformed.”