Bill Summary for H 876 (2021-2022)

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Summary date: 

May 7 2021

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2021
House Bill 876 (Public) Filed Tuesday, May 4, 2021
Intro. by Moffitt, Warren, Kidwell, Setzer.

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Bill summary

Includes whereas clauses.

Part I.

Prohibits a public health authority in the state from issuing an order that requires an individual to submit to a COVID-19 vaccination or series of vaccinations if such action is medically contraindicated for the individual, or if receiving the vaccination is against the individual's religious or philosophical beliefs. Specifies that for a minor, if the vaccination is against the religious or philosophical beliefs of the parent, guardian, or person in loco parentis, then the public health authority is prohibited from requiring that the minor receive the vaccination.

Prohibits a health care provider authorized to administer a COVID-19 vaccination in this state from requiring a patient, as a condition of receiving the vaccination, to agree to: (1) permission to use or disclose the patient's protected health information or personal identifying information for marketing or other business purposes; (2) waiver of any of the rights guaranteed under specified HIPAA provisions and any federal regulations adopted to implement these sections, except as necessary to safely administer the vaccination and seek reimbursement for the cost from a third-party payor.

Makes the following prohibited discriminatory practices by the following entities if based on an individual's COVID-19 vaccination status: (1) the State, any of its political subdivisions, and any entity receiving State funding in any form to refuse, withhold from, or deny to an individual any State, local, or federal funds or any services, goods, facilities, advantages, privileges, licensing, educational opportunities, or access to health care; (2) any person to refuse employment to an individual, to bar an individual from employment, or to base any employment-related decision; (3) any public accommodation to exclude, limit, refuse to serve, or otherwise treat adversely.

Allows an entity, employer, or public accommodation to have a policy or practice requiring an individual to receive a COVID-19 vaccination or to verify vaccination status if: (1) the entity, employer, or public accommodation notifies the individual that the individual may decline to be vaccinated, may decline to verify the person's COVID-19 vaccination status, or both; (2) the individual may decline to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, decline to verify the person's COVID-19 vaccination status, or both, based on medical contraindication or other condition requiring a reasonable accommodation, natural immunity, or reasons of conscience including sincerely held religious beliefs; and (3) if the individual is a minor, the parent or legal guardian may decline to have the minor receive a COVID-19 vaccination, decline to verify the minor's COVID-19 vaccination status, or both. Requires the entity to keep an individual's decision to receive or decline to receive a COVID-19 vaccination, and their decision as to whether to verify their vaccination status, confidential. 

Prohibits an officer or employee of the State or any political subdivision of the State from issuing or establishing any standardized documentation for the purpose of verifying an individual's COVID-19 vaccination status to a third party, or otherwise publishing or sharing an individual's COVID-19 vaccination record. Specifies that this does not prohibit a vaccinated person from receiving a COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicating the person received a COVID-19 vaccination.

Part II.

Enacts new GS 95-25.6A setting out NCGA findings and State policies on workplace vaccination requirements. Prohibits an employer from: (1) asking whether an employee or prospective employee has received a vaccination of a drug approved by the US FDA only for emergency use; (2) requiring, as a condition of employment, that an employee receive a vaccination of a drug approved by the US FDA only for emergency use; or (3) discharging, disciplining, retaliating against, failing to promote, or otherwise discriminating against an employee or prospective employee who opposes a workplace vaccination program to administer a drug approved by the US FDA only for emergency use. Allows employees or prospective or former employees to commence a civil action against an employer for a violation; sets out what a prevailing plaintiff may be awarded. Makes conforming changes to GS 95-241. 

Part III.

Enacts GS 166A-19.30(c1), barring the Governor from requiring or mandating that any person receive a vaccination by operation of executive order. Grants civil and criminal immunity to any person who refuses to receive a vaccination under the statute. Makes conforming changes. Applies to executive orders and directives issued on or after the date the act becomes law. 

Amends GS 166A-19.12 to limit the revisions of the NC Emergency Operations Plan concerning immunization procedures in accordance with new GS 166A-19.30(c1). 

Adds new subdivision (3a) to GS 150B-19 to prohibit State agencies from adopting a rule that imposes a mandate or requirement resulting in disciplinary action for a person who receives a vaccination as a condition of the receipt, renewal, or reinstatement of a license by an agency. Applies to proposed rules published in the NC Register and proposed rules of the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) on or after October 1, 2021.

Part IV.

Enacts new GS 130A-158.5 requiring each system used to track or record information about individuals residing in the state who have received specific vaccinations to provide: (1) written, informed consent from each adult and, from a minor's parent or guardian, whose vaccination records and vaccination information are added to the system for the following: a. the individual's participation in the system or inclusion in the system of the individual's vaccination record or vaccine status with respect to a specific vaccine and b. the disclosure or sharing of information concerning the individual's vaccination record, vaccine status with respect to a specific vaccine, or refusal to receive a specific vaccine and (2) an option for an adult or a minor's parent or guardian to withdraw previously granted consent that would trigger the deletion of all the individual's vaccination records and other vaccination information from the system and any other files maintained by the State agency responsible for operating the system.

Part V.

Enacts new GS 130A-157.5 providing that the matter of whether a person chooses for oneself, for one's children, or for anyone for whom that person stands in loco parentis to receive a vaccine or not to receive it is a private matter not to be violated. Prohibits requiring a written statement of the moral, philosophical, or personal beliefs and opposition to the immunization requirements, and prohibits asking whether such an affected person has received an immunization as a condition of attending any college, university, public or private school (Pre-K through 12), or child care facility.

Part VI.

Enacts new GS 93B-8.1A prohibiting an occupational licensing board or State agency licensing board from denying an applicant a license on the basis of whether the applicant has or has not received a specific vaccination. Prohibits requiring the submission of documents containing medical information for the sole purpose of ascertaining an applicant's vaccination history record as part of a licensure application process and prohibits a board from using any documents provided or information gathered tending to show a vaccination history record as the basis to deny the applicant a license. Prohibits a board from suspending, revoking, declining to renew, declining to reinstate, or taking any disciplinary action against a licensee based on whether the licensee has or has not received a specific vaccination. Sets out allowable remedies. 

Enacts GS 131E-79.5 prohibiting a hospital from refusing to provide service to patients on the basis of the patient's vaccination history or because of the patient's refusal to receive a specific vaccine or provide proof of immunity. Enacts GS 131E-79.6 prohibiting a hospital from denying, terminating, or suspending a physician's hospital privileges on the basis of the physician's vaccination history or because of the physician's refusal to receive a specific vaccination or provide proof of immunity. Prohibits a hospital that offers a medical residency program or a clinical program or experience necessary to satisfy degree requirements from: (1) discriminating against an applicant or prohibiting admission, enrollment, or employment as an intern or resident on the basis of the student's vaccination history or because of the student's, intern's, or resident's refusal to receive a specific vaccination or provide proof of immunity and (2) terminating an internship or residency on the basis of an intern's or resident's refusal to receive a specific vaccination or provide proof of immunity. Allows bringing a civil suit for violations and sets out allowable remedies. 

Enacts GS 131D-9.5 prohibiting a licensed adult care home from refusing to admit an applicant or provide services to a facility resident on the basis of the applicant's or resident's vaccination history or because the applicant or resident refuses to receive a specific vaccination or provide proof of immunity. Enacts new GS 131E-113.5 setting out the same prohibition for licensed nursing homes. 

Part VII.

Enacts new GS 99D-1.5 that makes it a discriminatory practice to use an individual’s vaccination or immunity status to deny an individual the full and equal enjoyment of goods, services, privileges, advantages, facilities, and public spaces. Defines public space as: (1) places of public accommodation; (2) any building or space that is owned, leased, operated, occupied, or otherwise used by a public body; or (3) any other building or space generally open to the public. Sets out five specified prohibitions, including: subjecting any individual to segregation or separate treatment in any matter related to that individual's receipt of any disposition, service, financial aid, or benefit provided to other members of the general public; restricting an individual in any way in the enjoyment of any advantage or privilege enjoyed by others receiving any disposition, service, financial aid, or benefit provided to other members of the general public; and denying an individual an opportunity to participate in a program through the provision of service or otherwise afford that individual an opportunity to do so that is different from that afforded to other members of the general public. Prohibits requiring an individual to take, receive, or disclose whether a person has received a COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of (1) entering a business or public space; (2) receiving any good or service; or (3) enjoying any facilities, privileges, advantages, or public spaces. Prohibits the State and its agencies and subdivisions from creating, imposing, or allowing to be imposed any device or method of identification that might be considered to be a vaccine passport required to travel, enter any public space or private property, or do business in the state.

Part VIII.

Amends GS 58-3-25 to prohibit an insurer from refusing to insure or continue to insure an individual, to limit available coverage, or to charge an individual a different rate, solely because of an individual's vaccination status.

Enacts new GS 58-50-286 prohibiting a health benefit plan from using the status of any patients of a provider as a (1) qualification or requirement for entering into a contract with the health care provider, (2) basis for terminating a contract with the health care provider, (3) factor in the provision of financial incentives for a health care provider, or (4) a factor in the imposition of penalties on a health care provider.

Enacts GS 58-51-2 prohibiting a group health plan offered on the large group market from using an insured’s vaccination status as a factor in the rating of a group health plan providing coverage in this state.

Apples to contracts issued, renewed, or amended on or after October 1, 2021.

Part IX.

Enacts new GS 20-43.5 prohibiting the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) from collecting or maintaining vaccination information or connecting DMV records to a person’s vaccination information. Prohibits requiring vaccination information in order to get an identification card, a learner's permit, or a driver's license. Prohibits a business or governmental entity that requires a person to present a DMV-issued identification card, learner's permit, or driver's license to verify identification from requiring a person to provide vaccination information or proof of immunity; also prohibits those entities from discriminating, denying services or access, or otherwise penalizing a person for not receiving a vaccination or providing proof of immunity.

Part X.

Includes a severability clause.