More than 800 Boston city employees suspended without pay Tuesday due to COVID-19 vaccine mandate

BOSTON — On Tuesday, 812 employees for the City of Boston were placed on unpaid leave after being deemed non-compliant with the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, according to a city spokesperson.

Acting Boston Mayor Kim Janey announced the mandate in August requiring all 18,000 city employees to either get the COVID-19 vaccine or provide weekly proof of a negative COVID-19 test. City employees in Boston can get COVID-19 tests for free. As of last week, about 1,400 city workers were not in compliance and were at risk of suspension, a City of Boston spokesperson said.

Do you work for the City of Boston? Are you now on unpaid leave because of the city’s vaccine mandate? We’d like to hear your story. Contact Boston 25 News here.

The mandate applies to all city workers, including teachers, police officers, firefighters, and more. A Boston Public Schools spokesperson told Boston 25 News there are contingency plans in place to ensure the school day is not disrupted should any school staff members be suspended Tuesday.

Thousands of state employees this Sunday, Oct. 17, face vaccination deadlines under an executive order Gov. Baker issued in August. Employees for whom vaccination is “medically contraindicated or who object to vaccination on the grounds of sincerely-held religious reasons” may be entitled to an exemption from the requirement, and those who feel they qualify must have submitted an exemption by Friday, Oct. 8, according to an online FAQ the executive branch’s human resources department published.

The policy applies to about 45,000 employees, and according to the FAQ, the requirement extends across full- and part-time workers, contract employees, interns, seasonal, intermittent, and temporary workers, and those who telework full-time. Those affected by the policy must provide proof that they have received the required two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and options are available both online and in paper form.

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