As you are all aware, on August 9, Governor Inslee issued Proclamation 21-14, requiring any worker engaged in work for a state agency after October 18, 2021, to be fully vaccinated. This includes projects under the Washington State Department of Transportation.
Washington State Building Trades was in contact with their legal counsel and here is some information we believe is important to know.
This Proclamation specifically prohibits state agencies from permitting any worker to engage in or perform any work for the agency after October 18, 2021, if the worker has not been fully vaccinated and provided proof. This Proclamation includes state public works projects that our members are working on. This means to be dispatched to these projects, you need to be vaccinated.
Because this vaccine mandate is coming from the Governor, under his authority during the current state of emergency that exists due to the pandemic, and is a requirement of the project owners, we do not have a lot of leverage to negotiate this change in working conditions. We anticipate that agencies with on-going public works projects will issue directions to contractors regarding their obligations under the Proclamation. This guidance will likely involve the following components:
- Contractors will have to require employees to provide proof of full vaccination against Covid-19. An attestation will not be acceptable.
- Employees may request a medical accommodation if they provide documentation from a health care professional.
- Employees may request a religious accommodation if they provide a statement regarding the way in which the vaccine mandate conflicts with their religious observance, practice, or belief.
You can find appointments for COVID-19 Vaccines here: Washington state vaccine appointment finder
You can find information about the COVID-19 vaccine here: COVID-19 Facts and Myths
Earlier this year Business Manager/Secretary Treasurer John Adams received his second shot.