wa-law.org > bill > 2023-24 > HB 1029 > Original Bill

HB 1029 - Vaccine mandate reemployment


Section 1

  1. The legislature finds that when the governor issued gubernatorial proclamations making COVID-19 vaccination a condition of employment within executive branch agencies, many employees who otherwise were qualified in their jobs but who chose to not get vaccinated were dismissed from employment based on the vaccination mandate. This created unnecessary hardship for many state employees. In addition, not allowing qualified, experienced employees to work in their professions does nothing to benefit the state, especially during this time of worker shortages.

  2. The legislature intends to create a pathway for those employees to be reemployed in their former positions if they choose. It is also the intent of the legislature to encourage local governments and private sector employers to create pathways to reemploy employees who have lost their jobs due solely to vaccine mandates.

Section 2

  1. [Empty]

    1. "Eligible employee" means an employee who was formerly employed by an executive branch agency of the state as a permanent employee and who received a dismissal from employment solely because the employee chose not to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

    2. "Employer" means the executive branch agency of the state that employed an eligible employee.

  2. [Empty]

    1. Except as provided in this section, an eligible employee is entitled to be reemployed by his or her former employer, if the eligible employee meets the requirements of this section.

    2. If the eligible employee is still qualified to perform the duties of his or her former position, the employer must restore the eligible employee to the former position or to a position of like seniority, status, and pay. If the eligible employee is no longer qualified for whatever reason, but is nevertheless qualified to perform the duties of another position under the control of the same employer, the employer shall reemploy the eligible employee in the other position. The position must provide the eligible employee with like seniority, status, and pay, or the nearest approximation.

    3. An employer is not required to reemploy an eligible employee if circumstances have so changed such that reemployment would be impossible or unreasonable due to a change in the employer's circumstances or would impose an undue hardship on the employer.

  3. [Empty]

    1. The eligible employee must provide written notification to the employer that he or she intends to apply for reemployment to his or her former position.

    2. The employer shall respond to the eligible employee's notification within 30 days of the notification.

  4. In any proceeding involving an issue of whether: (a) Reemployment is impossible or unreasonable because of a change in an employer's circumstances; or (b) reemployment would impose an undue hardship on the employer, the employer has the burden of proving the impossibility or unreasonableness, or undue hardship.

  5. If any employer fails or refuses to comply with the provisions of this section, the attorney general must bring action in the superior court in the county in which the employer is located to obtain an order specifically requiring the employer to comply with the provisions of this section, and if appropriate, to compensate the eligible employee for any loss of wages or benefits suffered by reason of the employer's noncompliance.

Created by @tannewt. Contribute on GitHub.