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The Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) has placed 113 of its firefighters on unpaid leave for failure to submit their COVID-19 vaccination status, as of Monday.
The city’s mandate required all city workers, including firefighters, to submit their vaccination status by Dec. 18. There were 222 LAFD personnel that had not submitted their vaccination status, or requested a medical/religious exemption, leading the department to send those employees notices.
In November, the Los Angeles Fire Department sent out notices to 222 firefighters informing them they would be sent home without pay unless they got the vaccine or requested an exemption, an LAFD spokeswoman said.
As of Monday, 113 firefighters had failed to respond to those notices, she said. They were placed off duty without pay, but will be allowed to use vacation hours or banked overtime to offset their lost wages.
The city, in August, directed its employees to get vaccinated unless they request a medical or religious exemption. Those who haven’t done either by Dec. 18, including firefighters, eventually will be subject to termination, a LAFD spokeswoman said.
The number of firefighters who are off-duty changes daily due to members updating their vaccination and testing status, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department’s Cheryl Getuiza.
Firefighters who continue to resist the vaccination mandate “will be entered into the process for termination of their employment, as outlined in the City Charter,” Getuiza said.