As an increasing number of Texas employees are threatened with termination for refusing to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, and momentum continues to build for Gov. Greg Abbott to call a special session banning the mandates, he has responded by creating a complaint hotline.
Although the Republican Party of Texas and 27 lawmakers have currently called for the Legislature to be brought back to address the issue, Abbott has so far refused, instead pointing to an executive order he signed in October purporting to prevent such mandates from being enforced by employers.
That directive, however, has been largely ignored.
Instead of calling lawmakers back, the Texas governor is asking employees to call in to a newly created hotline and report employers that violate his executive order.
“Since day one, the State of Texas has taken a stand against the federal government’s unconstitutional COVID-19 vaccine mandates in the workplace, three of which have since been deemed illegal by federal courts,” said Abbott. “My Executive Order clearly states that no employer can mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for an employee with a religious, personal, or medical exemption. We have now created a hotline for employees to report illegal vaccine mandates in Texas.”
The hotline, which is operated by the Texas Workforce Commission, can be reached at 1-(800)-939-6631 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. They say the complaints, after verification, will be referred to “the appropriate authorities for prosecution.”
In announcing the new phone number, Abbott did not comment on the possibility of a fourth special session.
The announcement comes as news breaks that employers under the governor’s purview—such as the University of Texas and the Texas National Guard—have continued to implement vaccine mandates despite his order.