113 LA Firefighters on Unpaid Leave Over Vaccine Mandate

113 LA Firefighters on Unpaid Leave Over Vaccine Mandate a vaccine passport card is handed over by a man (Antwon McMullen/Dreamstime)

By Theodore Bunker | Tuesday, 07 December 2021 04:41 PM

Over 100 firefights in the city of Los Angeles have been placed on unpaid leave after they failed to follow the vaccine mandate for municipal employees, requiring them to get vaccinated or agree to regular testing for COVID-19.

The Los Angeles Fire Department previously sent over 200 notices warning their personnel who had failed to either submit their vaccination status or send in a request for an exemption before the Dec. 18 vaccination deadline. These notices included warnings about the consequences of not complying with the mandate. As of Monday, 113 firefighters have been placed on unpaid leave, according to Los Angeles City News Service, while 3,732 have been vaccinated and 321 have requested an exemption.

"The number of firefighters placed off duty changes daily due to members updating their" vaccination status, LAFD officials said in a statement to the Los Angeles Daily News. "That number will fluctuate."

Those employees who continue to not comply with the mandate "will be entered into the process for termination of their employment, as outlined in the City Charter," LAFD Director of Government Affairs Cheryl Getuiza told L.A. CNS.

The mandate requires unvaccinated employees to submit two COVID-19 tests each week until Dec. 18, with $65 being deducted from their paychecks for each test, according to CNS. If an employee receives an exemption, they will be required to undergo testing once per week with the cost paid for by the city.