Idaho Dispatch

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Simplot to Require COVID-19 Vaccine for Vendors and Business Partners

By • May 11, 2021

Recently, Governor Brad Little signed an Executive Order prohibiting any state of Idaho government entity from requiring the COVID-19 vaccines.

Some states are also looking at banning private companies from implementing vaccine requirements as well. Several major airlines and cruise companies have considered so-called “vaccine passports” for travel in recent months.

Here in Idaho, Simplot says they will require proof of the COVID-19 vaccine for “vendors” and “business partners” at their food plant facilities.

Idaho Dispatch received a tip from an anonymous source with an image of a document said to be from Simplot. The document states that all contractors, subcontractors, and service providers must show proof of receiving the COVID vaccine before being let onto Simplot grounds or receiving a badge for regular access.

The document does not appear to say whether or not an employee of Simplot must receive the COVID-19 vaccine to continue their employment or to be hired on as an employee.

Idaho Dispatch reached out to Josh Jordon, the Senior Manager of Communications and Public Relations at Simplot, to ask if the document was real and if the company is also requiring the vaccine for their employees. Here is what Jordon sent Idaho Dispatch,

We are requiring vaccinations for vendors and business partners at our food service facilities to ensure the ongoing health and safety of our employees and all visitors to our food processing sites. The impact of COVID-19 has been particularly large at food processing facilities and we have been able to keep infection numbers relatively low at our locations because of an abundance of caution and the health and safety measures we have continued to follow.

The ongoing ability to produce and provide food during times of need is extremely important and this decision is based solely on our ability to contribute to that effort.

Jordon’s comment does not appear to answer the question regarding employees of Simplot needing the vaccine or not. Idaho Dispatch did send a follow-up question to ask for clarification, but we have not yet received a response.

The requirement to show proof of the COVID-19 vaccine at Simplot’s food service facilities will take effect on June 15.

Here is the image that Idaho Dispatch received from a source who wished to remain anonymous (story continues below):

Idaho Dispatch also reached out to Rep. Tammy Nichols (R-Middleton), who said she was trying to propose a bill to prevent private entities from forcing employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Here is what Nichols told us:

I believe companies are treading into dangerous territory regarding civil and human rights by trying to require employees and contractors to take an experimental shot. Federal regulation clearly indicates that experimental vaccines and drugs cannot be made mandatory.

I have a question for these companies that are toying with this idea, and that is, ‘Will you also take responsibility for someone who is harmed by the shot you forced them to receive?’  Additionally, will these companies also start requiring other medical procedures and therapies?

We only need to look back at history where the government has approved a drug that we later found out was very harmful (this shot isn’t even approved.) This is dangerous, in my opinion. I have a bill regarding this issue that I couldn’t get either the House or Senate Health and Welfare Committee Chairmen to hear. In the House, my resolution that the legislature not support forcing people to put things in their bodies and to fight against those efforts passed unanimously, but it was put in Sen. Fred Martin’s drawer.

States need to keep their sovereignty, and companies need to be taken to court if they pursue this idea.

Do you believe companies can force employees, visitors, and contractors to receive the COVID-19 vaccine? Should the government prohibit such actions?

Let us know in the comments below!

Tags: Brad Little, Covid-19, COVID-19 Vaccine, Josh Jordon, Simplot, Tammy Nichols