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8.11.21 – News 5 – LITTLE ROCK, Ark

On Wednesday, August 11, Tyson leaders were invited to join lawmakers during the 93 General Assembly meeting at the state capitol.

During the 93rd General Assembly meeting in Little Rock, Arkansas, lawmakers engaged in a heated debate discussing a bill that would keep private businesses from requiring employees to reveal their vaccination status.

Under the “Right to Privacy” bill, companies would not be able to require employees to be vaccinated, and not hiring someone because of their vaccination status would be considered discrimination.

Tyson leaders were invited to join the discussion with lawmakers after the company announced that it will be requiring employees to get vaccinated or they will face termination. Tyson says it has roughly 24,000 employees in the state of Arkansas and that just over half of those employees are vaccinated. 

Major companies like Walmart, Mercy Health, and Tyson so far have said they will require employees to be vaccinated, or they could face termination.

The meeting discussion featured hard opposition and the citing of different scientific research from both sides of the debate, those for the requirement for employees vaccination and those against.

“Don’t you think you should be aware of the latest science on it?” asked State Senator Bob Ballinger, a Republican from Ozark representing Arkansas’ 5th District. “I’m not talking about wackos on Facebook, but Dr. Fauci and CDC guidance.”

“Senator, I do believe I am informed, I’m not here to debate the efficacy numbers for the vaccine, we have been advised we have been advised that vaccination is the single most important item we can do to protect the safety of our team members,” said Tyson Representative Tom Brower in response. 

Other Arkansas state leaders were invited to the General Assembly meeting as well. 

A representative from the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office says the “Right to Privacy” Bill will be up for review again by the House and Senate in late Septembe