State Law Does Not Allow Local Governments To Mandate Vaccinations
Governor Doug Ducey issued an Executive Order strengthening enforcement against vaccine mandates and ensuring those employed by a local government can use earned sick leave due to COVID-19 exposure.
“We encourage all Arizonans to get the vaccine — it’s safe, effective and free,” said Governor Ducey. “But getting it is a personal choice, and we will not allow discrimination based on vaccination status. Today’s order builds on our efforts to protect Arizonans from excessive mandates that hinder their freedom to choose what’s best for their health.”
Specifically, the Governor’s Executive Order states:
Any county, city, town or political subdivision official that implements a vaccine mandate contrary to the authorities outlined in this order, is in violation of A.R.S. 36-114 and 36-184 and such actions are punishable by a class 3 misdemeanor and subject to legal action by individuals for violation of their rights under Arizona law; and
Any county, city, town or political subdivision official that fails to provide earned sick leave to an employee if it is recommended that the employee stay home due to exposure to COVID-19, is in violation of the Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act and action may be taken by individuals pursuant to the Act in the courts or through the Industrial Commission.
Today’s order is consistent with Senate Bill 1824, legislation signed by the Governor on June 30, and with Arizona Revised Statute 36-787, which does not provide any authority to a city, town or county to implement vaccination mandates. Due to its consistency with current Arizona law, the rights derived by law under these statutes apply to any action taken by a county, city, town or political subdivision since June 30, 2021.
Arizona’s Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act provides that earned paid sick time shall be provided for employees when the individual is a risk to the community’s public health. This includes quarantining due to COVID-19 exposure, whether or not the individual is vaccinated from the virus.
View the Executive Order HERE.
On April 19, Governor Ducey issued an Executive Order banning “vaccine passports” and preventing state and local governments from requiring Arizonans to provide their COVID-19 vaccination status to receive service or enter an area.
On June 15, Governor Ducey issued an Executive Order ensuring students cannot be mandated to take the COVID-19 vaccine or submit COVID-19 vaccination documents. Students also cannot be mandated to be tested or wear masks in order to participate in learning.
On July 27, the Governor issued a statement in response to updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance that said, “Arizona does not allow mask mandates, vaccine mandates, vaccine passports or discrimination in schools based on who is or isn’t vaccinated. We’ve passed all of this into law, and it will not change.”