Sens. James Moylan, Frank Blas Jr. and Chris Duenas have sponsored a bill that would require legislative approval for any gubernatorial orders that impose fines or citations on those who violate an executive order, or for any orders that mandate vaccinations for government employees or private businesses and their patrons. Approval would come through a majority vote.

The bill, which Moylan will also introduce as an amendment to the fiscal year 2022 budget bill, is one of the latest attempts to rein in the governor's actions amid new COVID-19 restrictions for the unvaccinated.

Bill 180-36 was introduced Monday, the same day Duenas called for an override of a vetoed bill that would grant the Legislature the authority to extend public health emergencies, instead of the governor. The override failed by two votes.

Moylan, Blas, Duenas and Sen. Tony Ada on Monday also introduced Bill 181-36, which would prohibit employers from taking certain actions against individuals who have not been vaccinated.

That includes discharging or refusing to hire that individual, and requiring the individual to utilize personal protective equipment not required of other employees. Bill 181 also requires employers to inform qualified individuals of rights granted by the bill if the employer requires a specific vaccination.

Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero's most recent order requires businesses, including restaurants, shopping centers, gyms and theaters, to mandate staff and patrons 12 and older show proof they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The order also limits social gatherings to 100 vaccinated people, and prohibits unvaccinated residents 12 and older from attending gatherings with people who are not members of their household. Businesses and individuals face fines for noncompliance.

Enforcement will begin on Sept. 6.

Even before this order, the governor had mandated that executive branch employees must be vaccinated against COVID-19 or go through weekly testing. Private-sector employers then started requiring proof of vaccination or strongly recommending vaccination for workplace health and safety. The Judiciary of Guam has also mandated vaccination or weekly testing of its employees.

But there has been resistance even among government employees.

The Consolidated Commission on Utilities is set to discuss a resolution today directing the power and water utilities to develop a mandatory vaccination policy. One commissioner, Michael Limtiaco, has spoken critically of mandated vaccination and weekly testing of just the unvaccinated within the utilities.

The proposed resolution for the utilities notes that on May 28, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued technical guidance clarifying that federal EEO laws do not prevent employers from requiring all employees physically entering the workplace to be vaccinated for COVID-19, subject to accommodations provided in the Americans with Disabilities Act and other federal employment discrimination laws.

Moreover, the resolution states the U.S. Department of Justice issued a memorandum opinion on July 26 concluding that Section 564 of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act permits public and private employers alike to impose the COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of employment even when the vaccine is subject to Emergency Use Authorization, which is the case for the COVID-19 vaccines.


Recommended for you