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Memphis Mandates: Employers Navigate Conflicting State, Federal Vaccine Rules


The University of Memphis announced on Nov. 16 that all faculty and staff would be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The bulk of local collegiate institutions had already announced vaccination requirements for both staff and students before the fall semester began.

But the U of M’s announcement came amid conflicting federal and state laws, with the Biden administration telling larger organizations that they must require vaccinations — and Tennessee lawmakers telling them they can’t.

Like the U of M, the University of Health Science Center (UTHSC) — along with the rest of the UT system — is also exempt from the state rule, as a fellow recipient of federal funds. And UTHSC is also requiring all employees to get vaccinated. The same goes for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

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