The City of Snoqualmie announced it has fired eight employees, two weeks after its vaccination mandate went into effect.
City staff were required to get the COVID-19 vaccine, or receive a medical or religious exemption, by Oct. 18 as a condition of their employment after Mayor Matt Larson issued a vaccine mandate on Aug. 24. Those who receive an exemption will be subject to twice-weekly testing.
The eight fired employees equate to 7% of the city’s workforce. Four of the employees were in the public works department, three were police officers and one was a member of management and professional staff.
The city received 19 requests for exemptions and only three were accepted. The three accommodated staff are expected to have minimal contact with the public and the accommodation will only last for a short time before vaccination is required.
On Oct. 19, the Valley Record reported that nearly all city staff were vaccinated, but the city was still working with two of its three labor unions to come to a memorandum of understanding regarding the mandate. Only the fire department’s union reached an agreement. The Teamsters and Police unions did not ratify an agreement with the city.
Proof of vaccination will be required for all future city staff.