Birmingham, Ala. – On Friday, September 10, 2021, the Alabama Center for Law and Liberty (“ACLL”) sent a demand letter to the University of Alabama System explaining that it was violating Alabama’s Vaccine Passport Ban by requiring UAB’s healthcare workers to get vaccinated and threatening litigation if it did not rescind its policy. Today, UAB Health System decided that it will not force its employees to receive vaccinations against their will unless forced to by the Biden administration.
In May, Alabama passed SB267, commonly referred to as Alabama’s “Vaccine Passport Ban.” That law provides, in part, ““A state or local government entity, or any of its officers or agents, may not … require the publication or sharing of immunization records or similar health information for an individual ….” Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall interpreted this language to mean that “no government, school, or business in Alabama may demand that a constituent, student, or customer, respectively, be vaccinated for COVID-19 or show proof of his or her vaccination for COVID-19.” After learning that UAB Health Systems was mandating vaccines for its healthcare employees, ACLL sent a demand letter to the University of Alabama System, arguing it was violating the Vaccine Passport Ban by forcing people to disclose their vaccination status and threatening litigation of it did not cease and desist. Though UAB Health System issued the mandate, ACLL argued that the University of Alabama was ultimately responsible, and therefore the Vaccine Passport Ban applied. UAB Healthcare System rescinded its policy one week later.
“We commend UAB Health System and its affiliates for changing the policy and respecting the rights of its employees,” said Matt Clark, ACLL’s President. Clark added, “We recognize that COVID-19 is dangerous and do not wish to discourage UAB and its affiliates from taking reasonable steps to keep people safe. But since the long-term effects of the vaccines are still unknown, the State of Alabama has decided that using the power of government to force people to get vaccines against their will is not a legitimate option.”
ACLL is a conservative nonprofit legal organization based in Birmingham, Alabama, and it is the litigation arm of the Alabama Policy Institute. For more information, visit ACLL’s website at alabamalawandliberty.org.