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Labor Secretary Washington: ‘I feel really good about where we are’ on fulfilling SB9 vaccine exemptions duties

Senate Bill 9, passed by the Alabama Legislature earlier this year, prohibits companies from firing an employee for refusing to take a COVID-19 vaccination should that employee claim a medical or religious exemption.

However, those companies can challenge the exemption, which under SB9 tasks the Alabama Department of Labor with assigning an administrative law judge to determine if an employee was “entitled” to that exemption.

During an appearance on this week’s broadcast of Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal,’ Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington said his agency was on track to meet the deadlines required by the new law.

“The Labor Department is responsible for appointing the administrative law judge,” Washington explained. “And so we are in the process right now of putting that process in place. As you mentioned, we have from right now until next week to put that process in terms of making sure ADOL provides all the guidance to all the employers statewide to give them a roadmap in terms of what they need to do if an employee comes to them and asks for an exemption.”

“I feel really good about where we are in the process, that we will have this guidance up and running, again, by November 26,” he said.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.