COVID-19 vaccination required for all city of Milwaukee employees

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett announced that COVID-19 vaccinations will be required for City of Milwaukee employees on Tuesday, Aug. 24.

Officials say the new requirement is for general city employees and includes temporary employees and interns. It is effective Wednesday, Sept. 1. Unvaccinated employees will have until Friday, Oct. 29 to produce proof of vaccination. Officials say those who do not comply will face an initial unpaid suspension for up 30 dates, and continued failure to comply will result in separation from employment. 

As of now, the vaccination requirements do not apply to union-represented employees.

The decision follows reviews by both the Milwaukee Health Department and the City's Department of Employee Relations, as well as the United States Food and Drug Administration formal approval on Monday of the Pfizer vaccine. 

Officials say the city remains in discussion with public employee unions about the applicability of new requirements to their members. 

“We have an obligation to provide a safe workplace for all employees, and a vaccinated workforce is part of that,” Mayor Barrett said. “A vaccinated workforce also helps protect members of the public who interact with employees, as well as family members of City employees.”

Officials say city employees will receive up to two hours of paid leave to receive vaccinations. The new city policy includes provisions for employees requesting exemption from the vaccination requirement based on specific medical or religious criteria. 

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