Vaccine REquirement

LA Postpones Its First Vaccine Deadline for City Workers

The city of Los Angeles has given its employees another week to file proof they've received at least a first COVID-19 vaccine or to request an exemption

NBC Universal, Inc.

The City of Los Angeles has extended the deadline by which all of its employees were to provide proof of at least a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccination or make a formal request for a religious or medical exemption.

Several city officials, who were not authorized to speak to reporters about the effort, said as the first deadline passed on Monday, Sept. 7, roughly one-quarter of the CIty's workers had failed to complete an online form. 

Some employees told their labor representatives that the online form for submitting the information was not working.

The deadline for submissions is now set for Sept. 13, the officials said.

The extension for compliance was set during a closed-door meeting of the City’s Executive Employee Relations Committee, or EERC, that met late Wednesday to discuss the status of the vaccination mandate and possible methods of enforcement. 

The current EERC includes Mayor Eric Garcetti, the City’s Chief Administrative Officer Matt Szabo, City Council president Nury Martinez, and Council members Joe Buscaino, Paul Krikorian, and Paul Koretz, and the group is responsible for negotiations with the unions that represent City workers.

An ordinance signed in August by Garcetti required City workers to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 19, unless the employees are granted an exemption based on a doctor's note or a 'deeply held' religious conviction. It was not immediately clear if the final deadline would also be adjusted.

The City’s public safety departments have been pushing employees to get vaccinated ahead of the deadline, and offered mobile vaccine clinics and multiple opportunities for workers to get their shot during work hours.

On Monday, the City Fire Department said nearly 59% of its firefighters were fully vaccinated. 

The LAPD said as of Sept. 3, the latest data it had available, 47% of police officers were fully vaccinated.

City officials at a number of departments referred NBC4’s inquiries about updated vaccination rates and the number of requests for exemptions to the Mayor’s office, which has declined to provide details.

The union that represents most LAPD officers, the Los Angeles Police Protective League, declined to comment Friday, citing ongoing labor negotiations with the City over the vaccine mandate and the potential consequences for officers who refuse to be vaccinated or share their vaccination status with the City.

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