COVID-19 Versus the Law

Across the state, businesses and organizations are navigating new COVID-19 policies relating to vaccination status. Many may already be mandating the vaccine as a condition of employment. Others may be providing a testing option for those who are unvaccinated or those who choose not to share their status. 

The state of Wisconsin has two fair-employment laws that the people of this state should be aware of. State Statute 111.35 prohibits the discrimination of employees based on the use or nonuse of a lawful product. State Statute 111.372 prohibits employers from soliciting, requiring or administering a genetic test of an employee. 

I urge anyone reading this who is concerned about the future of their employment due to COVID-19 policy to become familiar with these laws. Currently, unvaccinated or undeclared state of Wisconsin employees are required to submit their genetic material weekly for COVID-19 testing to a company called Picture Genetics, which uses a lab called Fulgent Genetics in California. This lab markets itself as a premier genetics-testing laboratory. 

Situations like this are happening everywhere, and many remain buried in the dark if not picked up by mainstream media. I hope – for the sake of all state employees or any employee who feels helpless – that someone is out there who has the influence and ability to bring this to light. 

Sophie Parr

Fish Creek, Wisconsin