Tennessee General Assembly Passes Bill Prohibiting Local Government from Classifying Workers as ‘Nonessential’ – Governor and State Government Retain That Power

The Tennessee General Assembly determined that local governments can’t classify workers as “nonessential” – but the governor and state still can. The House passed an amended version of a bill, the “The Essential Workers Act,” on Tuesday that struck original language prohibiting the governor and state entities from classifying workers as “nonessential.”

Under the modified act, the governor and state may impose an executive order, ordinance, or resolution that identifies essential and nonessential businesses, trades, professions, or industries for the purpose of closing them. The Tennessee Star inquired with the sponsor, State Representative Brendan Ogles (R-Franklin) as to why they decided the governor and state entities should retain that authority. They didn’t respond by press time. The amendment also struck language that prohibited calling certain workers “essential.”

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Senate Passes Bill Prohibiting Government from Classifying Businesses, Workers as ‘Essential’ or ‘Nonessential’

The Senate determined during its Monday floor session that governments shouldn’t classify workers as “essential” or “nonessential.”

In its entirety, the bill would prohibit the governor and all state or local government entities and leadership from classifying or categorizing businesses, trades, professions, or industries as “essential” or “nonessential.”

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Tractor Supply Headquarters: Will Pay Workers to Get COVID-19 Vaccine, Provide Time Off

Tractor Supply is incentivizing its workers with $50 additional pay and any necessary time off to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The company, headquartered in Brentwood, clarified that they wouldn’t be mandating the vaccine. Instead, Tractor Supply stated that the decision to be vaccinated should remain between the employee and their primary care physician. This arrangement would also extend to its workers in Petsense, another retailer owned and operated by the company. 

Additionally, Tractor Supply announced that it had partnered with an undisclosed third-party provider to host vaccination clinics at their eight distribution centers and their store support center.

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VDH launches Online Tool to Help Determine Virginians’ Vaccine Eligibility

With mass vaccination efforts now a month in, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has released a new online tool to help Virginians determine their eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine under the state’s multi-phase plan and when they can get it.

Completing the process is relatively simple and should not take more than 5 minutes maximum. Here is a step-by-step rundown

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Virginia Department of Health: Vaccinations for Second Phase Group Starting Next Week

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) said Friday that 11 select health districts around the state will begin vaccinating the second phase of priority populations, group 1b, this week, according to a press release from the agency. 

VDH’s announcement comes two days after Governor Ralph Northam held his first COVID-19 press briefing of 2021, where he said the state would be faster at administering vaccines, implemented a “use it or lose it” policy for providers and released specifics on the people in group 1b. 

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