90 city employees miss vax deadline, leave jobs

Coronavirus

Portland City Hall, May 18, 2021 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Nearly 100 City of Portland employees have been told to leave their jobs after missing the Monday deadline for being fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

According to a report from the city, 91.6% (5,620) of their staff are fully vaccinated, 5.6% (346) have been approved for a medical or religious exemption and less than 1% (47) are still in the process of getting the shot.

The city stopped short of saying departing workers were fired, as that “implies wrongdoing.” Instead, 90 employees are “separating” from their jobs in what the city is calling a “non-disciplinary” action.

“Employees who are being separated have not engaged in any misconduct,” a spokesperson for the City of Portland said. “They simply no longer meet the minimum qualifications of employment.”

Sixteen of the 90 were full-time employees. According to the city, the remaining 74 were seasonal, part-time and worked on a as-needed basis. Some of the departing workers may not have been aware of the vaccine requirement, the city said, as they weren’t able to contact everyone.

There are 33 employees in the city report who are not specified as having met or missed the Oct. 18 deadline. That number includes four regular employees on leaves of absence, 25 recent hires within the Parks & Recreation department, two unvaccinated full-time employees and two unvaccinated part-time employees.

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