More than 800 Boston city workers suspended over vaccine mandate

More than 800 Boston city workers suspended over vaccine mandate
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More than 800 Boston city employees have been suspended without pay for not adhering to the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate or agreeing to weekly testing, The Associated Press reported.

Acting Mayor Kim Janey (D) announced in August that all individuals employed by the state — roughly 18,000 workers — would be required to report their COVID-19 vaccination status or agree to weekly testing. The deadline was Tuesday.

The policy applies to all City of Boston employees, onsite contractors and volunteers who work at city worksites, according to Janey.

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The mayor’s office did not, however, reveal details on which employees in which departments were suspended, according to the AP.

Tuesday’s suspensions comprised more than 4 percent of city employees, according to the AP. The mayor’s office said it is working up plans to address staff shortages that may arise as a result.

“We are now implementing contingency plans for bus transportation and other school operations impacted by employee leaves of absence, due to unverified vaccination or testing,” Janey’s office said in a statement on Tuesday, according to the AP.

“We continue to work closely with our diverse workforce, and our union partners, to ensure employees have access to vaccination, testing and verification systems to comply with the mandate,” her office added.

Suspended employees will be allowed to return to work if they provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test, the AP reported, citing the mayor's office.

Boston is one of a number of employers to discipline workers for not complying with vaccine mandates.

A North Carolina-based hospital system announced last month that it fired 175 employees who did not abide by the requirement.

The Hill reached out to Janey’s office for more information.