PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey issued an executive order Monday strengthening enforcement against coronavirus vaccine mandates.
"We encourage all Arizonans to get the vaccine — it's safe, effective and free," said Governor Ducey in a press release. "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."
NEW: I issued an Executive Order strengthening enforcement against vaccine mandates and ensuring those employed by a local government can use earned sick leave due to #COVID19 exposure. 1/— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) August 16, 2021
According to the governor's website, the 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.
Earlier this year, Ducey signed orders banning “vaccine passports” and ensuring university students would not be mandated to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Most recently, mask mandates were banned, but are being challenged by school districts and education groups.