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Crime & Courts

Federal court blocks Montana's ban on vaccine requirements for health care workers

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A federal judge has blocked enforcement of a new Montana law that bans discrimination based on vaccination status as it applies to health care providers. Medical and nursing groups sued last year saying it jeopardizes their work.

U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy temporarily blocked a section of House Bill 702, which prohibits all employers from discriminating against employees based on vaccine status.

The block means that health care providers that receive Medicaid or Medicare funding are exempt from that provision and can require staff to get vaccinated, but the law stands for other workplaces.

Molloy wrote that the Montana law is preempted by a federal rule in place requiring health care workers get vaccinated against COVID-19. He wrote the court’s block will stay in place unless the federal rule is lifted, at which point the court case over the state law will continue.

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