Schmidt Warns Employers About New Law

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt is advising employers that they must not inquire into the sincerity of an employee’s religious belief when the employee claims a religious waiver from a COVID-19 vaccine requirement.

New state legislation requires all employers – public or private sector – to accommodate employee requests for relief from COVID-19 vaccine requirements on the ground that the requirement would violate a sincerely held religious belief of the employee.

It forbids employers from “inquiring into the sincerity of the request” by the employee.

Some employers have been requiring employees who claim a religious waiver to complete detailed questionnaires designed to gather information for use in evaluating the sincerity of the employee’s religious beliefs.

Those sorts of inquiries and determinations are now illegal in Kansas.

Under the new law, an employer’s violation of the law may ultimately be subject to substantial civil penalties imposed by a court at the request of the attorney general’s office.