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Portland Mayor Tells City Employee’s, Get Vaccinated Or Get Fired

Portland, Ore. — City of Portland employees found out Monday that all employees will be required to be vaccinated for COVID-19, or they will be terminated.  In a letter to employees, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said “Effective Oct. 18, 2021, it will be a requirement of every position at the City of Portland to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Exceptions will be allowed for medical and religious reasons that meet legal standards. To begin the process, employees will be asked to do one of three things by Friday, Sept. 10: (1) submit proof of vaccination, (2) show they are in the process of getting vaccinated, or (3) apply for an exception.”

The letter goes on to say that if any employee is not vaccinated and has not been granted an exemption, they will be terminated on October 19th.  The letter also asks employees to please show respect for their coworkers during this difficult time, including those who feel differently than you do about vaccines or who apply for exceptions.

Copy of entire letter below:

City Employees,

First, we want to acknowledge that a draft of this message was published today by a local media outlet. We apologize and regret that some of you may have heard important news from the media rather than hearing it directly from us. We are committed to sharing announcements with City employees in a timely, transparent and empathetic way.

With COVID-19 filling hospitals and claiming lives, we must do everything within our power to end this pandemic and restore our community’s health. Today, we take an important step toward those goals.

Effective Oct. 18, 2021, it will be a requirement of every position at the City of Portland to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Exceptions will be allowed for medical and religious reasons that meet legal standards. To begin the process, employees will be asked to do one of three things by Friday, Sept. 10: (1) submit proof of vaccination, (2) show they are in the process of getting vaccinated, or (3) apply for an exception. Please wait for instructions to submit your status.

Employees who do not meet the Sept. 10 deadline will be put on a list for separation from employment, and have until Oct. 18 to either demonstrate they are fully vaccinated or complete the exception process. Separations will be effective Oct. 19. Please show respect for your coworkers during this difficult time, including those who feel differently than you do about vaccines or who apply for exceptions. And if you are interested in an on-site vaccine clinic for City employees, please review information and sign up this week so we can ensure adequate supplies.

As part of a multi-faceted public health strategy, vaccines can play an important role in turning the corner on COVID-19. Yet we recognize that this announcement raises many questions – from how to file your proof of vaccination, to how we will evaluate exception requests, to how this requirement affects contractors and volunteers. You will receive a communication by Thursday afternoon from Chief Administrative Officer Tom Rinehart, outlining the new policy and answering as many questions as possible. We plan to send this information by email, as well as mailing a copy to employees’ homes. If you have a pressing question, you can email the City’s vaccination policy team at [email protected]gov.

We are confident that this is the right decision for our workplace and our city. It supports both Oregon’s health care workers and people who need to access medical care for non-COVID reasons. We need our small businesses to stay open, as well as the spaces and events that enrich our community. And we must support our children, who cannot be vaccinated and are especially vulnerable. Nearly 50,000 Portland Public Schools students return to class this week, and we want them to have a safe and healthy school year.

Together, we can help Portland recover and build a better future.

 

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Description automatically generatedWith gratitude,

Mayor Ted Wheeler

Commissioners Jo Ann Hardesty, Mingus Mapps, Carmen Rubio and Dan Ryan

 


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