HCRCA Clarification Headed to Governor’s Desk
Nov 5, 2021
On October 28, the Illinois legislature passed SB 1169, a bill creating a new section to be added to the Health Care Right of Conscience Act (HCRCA). The bill states that entities do not violate the HCRCA by taking any measures or imposing and enforcing any requirements intended to prevent contraction or transmission of COVID-19, including without limitation those “that involve provision of services by a physician or health care personnel.” This would include COVID-19 vaccination and/or routine testing for COVID-19. Significantly, the bill states that it is not a substantive change to the HCRCA but, rather, “is a declaration of existing law and shall not be construed as a new enactment.” In other words, the bill clarifies that the HCRCA already does not prohibit employers from imposing or enforcing COVID-19 mitigation measures.
Governor Pritzker is expected to sign SB 1169, which would allow the bill to formally take effect on June 1, 2022. In the meantime, this clarification of the legislature’s original intent may be a significant factor in courts’ interpretations of the HCRCA as they handle lawsuits challenging COVID-19 vaccination and testing requirements. Please contact your Robbins Schwartz attorney with any questions about this legislation.