Phoenix mandating COVID vaccines for city employees

Phoenix mandating city employees to show proof of vaccination by Jan. 18

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In an email sent out Thursday, the city instructed its employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Jan. 18, 2022.

PHOENIX — The city of Phoenix’s 14,000 employees have two months to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus or risk getting terminated. 

The mandate covers police officers and firefighters, according to city spokesman Dan Wilson.

According to an email sent out Thursday by the city, Phoenix’s workers must be vaccinated by Jan. 18, 2022, or they will be subject to “progressive discipline,” which could include termination.

“The responsibility of balancing the rights to a safe workplace with the rights to make individual health choices is not one we’ve taken lightly,” the city’s email states. “Although the city has and continues to provide free COVID-19 testing and vaccines, the choice to get vaccinated has remained entirely at the discretion of each individual employee.”

The city said new legal guidance on President Joe Biden’s September vaccination mandate for federal contractors confirmed that the mandate also covers cities like Phoenix that have a large number of federal contracts.

The city is willing to offer religious or medical exemptions to employees who qualify for the exception. 

Phoenix is paying out $75 to every employee who shows proof of vaccination by the Jan. 18 deadline.

Wilson said that other cities around the country are expected to issue similar vaccination mandates based on the contractor requirement. 

He said the city’s police and firefighter unions had been briefed on the new mandate. 

The mandate is happening at a time when Phoenix is dealing with a staffing crisis in its police department. The city’s leaders have said Phoenix is struggling to hire enough officers to meet staffing needs. 

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