City employees in Philadelphia are required to be immunized.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — City workers in Philadelphia will be required to be vaccinated or obtain an exemption by mid-January, according to city health officials.
The announcement reversals previous directives that allowed unvaccinated workers to work in enclosed offices while wearing double masks.
New employees were required to be vaccinated as a condition of employment this summer, and non-union employees were required to be vaccinated by December.
The new rule applies to workers represented by four city labor unions as well as some city contractors, and it requires two doses or an approved exemption by January.
Employees who fail to comply will be considered unable to perform their duties and will be placed on unpaid leave for no more than 15 days, according to officials.
Continued refusal to be vaccinated may result in dismissal, according to city officials.
In an emailed announcement of the new policy, Mayor Jim Kenney said, “As public servants, we bear a responsibility to mitigate the harm that would result from inadvertent transmission of COVID-19 to our colleagues and the public, and to set an example for other organizations and companies.”
“We owe it to our city — and to ourselves — to do everything in our power to ensure that we are all safe.”
Instead of allowing employees to opt out, the mandate requires an approved medical or religious exemption.