NewsLocal News


Kansas AG Derek Schmidt urges employers not to question religious vaccine exemption claims

Kansas Attorney General to give away free child identification kits at Wyandotte County Fair
Posted at 11:24 AM, Nov 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-24 13:24:14-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt told employers Wednesday not to look into the sincerity of an employee's religious beliefs when requesting exemption of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Kansas employees are able to waive COVID-19 vaccine requirements on the basis of health and religion after Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly signed House Bill 2001 into law Tuesday.

According to Schmidt, some employers have required "detailed questionnaires," asking employees how long they have had a religious belief or requiring documentation for proof of an employee's faith.

Schmidt said those kinds of questions are now illegal.

“It is particularly distressing when a public-sector employer – an agent of the government – sits in judgment of the sincerity of an employee’s religious faith," Schmidt said. "Under the new law now in effect, that is not only distressing, it is also illegal.”

Schmidt said he is directly contacting public-sector employers Wednesday that are investigating the validity of religious claims, and suggesting they stop immediately, and grant employees exemption from vaccine requirements.

“The purpose of this new law is to protect workers, not to punish employers,” Schmidt said. “We seek compliance, not punishment. So I encourage all Kansas employers, whether public or private, to immediately review their policies and procedures and conform them to the requirements of the new law in order to respect the religious liberties of Kansas workers as the law requires.”