Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Wednesday threatened to fire any city employee who refuses to take the coronavirus vaccine by December 18, saying they “should be prepared to lose their job.”
“The city’s employee vaccine mandate is critical to protecting the health and safety of our workforce and the Angelenos we serve,” Garcetti said on Wednesday.
“Employees must be vaccinated by December 18, and we are putting a rigorous testing program into place in the meantime. Let me be clear: Any employee who refuses to be vaccinated by this date should be prepared to lose their job.”
Los Angeles’ initial vaccination deadline for city employees was Wednesday. However, under a pending city council proposal, workers will have until December 18 to show proof of vaccination. Under the new proposal, unvaccinated workers will have to submit to coronavirus tests twice a week, and $65 will be deducted from each paycheck to cover the testing costs until the deadline. In addition, employees would have to get tested by the city or a vendor selected by the city during their free time. Third-party tests would not be allowed under the proposal. The plan will go before the L.A. City Council next week.
Data from Garcetti’s office reports 72.8 percent of city employees are at least partially vaccinated. In addition, 17.9 percent declined to state or did not report their status, and 9.2 percent are not vaccinated.
The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), L.A.’s largest city department, reports 3,700 unvaccinated employees.
Garcetti has seen major pushback from residents and even city officials after announcing in July that city employees would be forced to get vaccinated. Six LAPD employees filed a federal lawsuit against Garcetti’s mandate, alleging it violates their constitutional protections against illegal search and seizures without due process.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva took a public stance against the mandate. “This is so politicized, I cannot in good conscience impose a mandate like that,” he told Fox News earlier this month, adding that he’s “not going to be part of that.”