Gov. Gianforte Reaffirms Montana Law Banning Discrimination Based On Vaccination Status

Governor Greg Gianforte has provided guidance to Montana employers and employees impacted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rule mandating vaccines for employers with 100 or more employees nationwide. 

“Montana law is unequivocal: employers are prohibited from discriminating based on vaccination status,” Gov. Gianforte wrote in guidance to Montanans. “While employers may encourage employees to vaccinate, they may not tie or modify any terms of employment based on vaccination status.”

On Nov. 5, 2021, OSHA published the “COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard” applicable to employers with 100 or more employees nationwide. The OSHA mandate violates Montana law prohibiting discrimination based on a person’s vaccination status. 

The OSHA mandate was immediately challenged, and its enforcement was stayed nationwide by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals until Dec.17, 2021, when the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling allowing implementation of the OSHA mandate. The Sixth Circuit ruling has also been challenged and is presently pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Can Vaccination Status Lead to Discrimination?

Perhaps, there is a vaccination mandate, which means employees must be vaccinated. Or maybe vaccinations are still optional for employees to allow for minimal disruption to how the company operates. There are pros and cons to each choice. With Covid-19 having caused a worldwide pandemic, millions of deaths, and the upheaval of life as we knew it in 2020, the availability of a vaccine was seen as a blessing by many.

The possible lifesaving implications of a vaccine meant employers could reopen their doors and safely reintegrate staff working from home back into the office. Mandating vaccines for in-office work was a smart choice for companies that wanted to give employees and clients confidence in the safety of coming back into their buildings.

Some employees either didn’t want to get the vaccine, couldn’t get it, or wanted to continue working from home to ensure safety.

Workplace discrimination and retaliation plague Wyoming National Guard

If the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s decisions and the testimony of multiple women are any indication, the Wyoming National Guard has a problem.

Over the last decade the EEOC – the federal authority charged with investigating employer discrimination – has put the Wyoming National Guard on notice three times for workplace hostility, including the mishandling of sexual harassment.

Whistleblowers say the documented complaints are only the tip of the iceberg and that rather than address the problem, the guard continues to find ways to delay or dodge the need to change.

In August, Rachel Bennett and Jennifer Rigg – two former guard employees – spoke out about their experiences at state Capitol news conferences. For years, they both worked through official channels to address the workplace discrimination they say they faced, but after hitting dead end after dead end, they’re now calling on state leaders for help. They’re not alone in their concern that the guard is failing to protect victims of workplace hostility.

How to Get Sued for Age Discrimination

Employers can’t afford to do these seven things. And if you are a worker wondering if you have grounds for an age discrimination lawsuit, start taking notes!

Still have questions?

Call (877) 932-2628 and speak with one of our legal funding experts.

* Word-Use Disclaimer

Legal funding is not a loan. It is the non-recourse purchase of an equitable lien in plaintiffs’ legal claims. Words such as ‘loans,’ ‘lending,’ ‘borrow,’ etc., are used for marketing purposes only.
More info

TriMark Legal Funding LLC
1056 Green Acres Rd #102
Eugene, OR 97408