LOS ANGELES (CNS) — The Los Angeles City Council Wednesday will consider requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for all city employees except for those who have medical or religious exemptions.
Mayor Eric Garcetti and Council President Nury Martinez announced on July 27 that city employees would be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a weekly negative COVID-19 test, but under the proposed ordinance, "only those with a medical or religious exemption and who are required to regularly report to a work location are eligible for weekly testing."
If the ordinance is adopted, non-exempt employees must receive their first dose of the Moderna or Pfizer two-dose vaccine no later than Sept. 7, and their second dose no later than Oct. 5. Employees who choose to receive the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine would have to be inoculated by Oct. 5.
Exemption requests would be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and be due by Sept. 7. People would be qualified for an exemption if they have a medical condition or sincerely held religious beliefs, practices or observances that prevent them from receiving the vaccine, according to the proposed ordinance.
Employees who are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated or have not reported their vaccination status would be "ineligible to promote or transfer" until they are fully vaccinated, according to the draft ordinance. An "urgency clause" that deems the proposed ordinance necessary "for the immediate protection of the public peace, health and safety" means it would become effective upon publication, instead of 30 days after finalization.
The ordinance needs unanimous approval upon its first reading Wednesday. If it falls short, the City Council will consider it again the following week, when it would need 12 votes. Ordinances typically need eight votes on second consideration, but the urgency clause means the ordinance must be passed by a three-fourths vote.