On August 20, 2021, CSLEA participated in a video conference with representatives of CalHR and Department of State Hospitals to continue to address impact issues as a result of the mandatory testing and vaccination protocols issued by the State. CSLEA Chief Counsel Kasey Clark, Supervising Legal Counsel Dave De La Riva, Sr. Legal Counsel Ryan Navarre and Hospital Police Association of California President Luis Jimenez participated on behalf of CSLEA/HPAC. HPAC has the greatest number of Unit 7 employees impacted by the current mandatory vaccination directive.
During the course of the video conference a number of suggestions were conveyed by the CSLEA including, but not limited to, extending the supplemental sick leave program, developing clearly expressed standards for employees who refuse to participate in the mandatory masking/vaccination programs, and providing a uniform standard of review of requests for medical and religious accommodation.
CSLEA also inquired how employees who are in mid-vaccination status would be treated with respect to program deadlines, what the interactive process for reviewing accommodation requests would be, whether any case of a severe vaccination reaction would be considered a work-related injury, and whether the State had given consideration to providing additional incentives for employees to get vaccinated.
Although a number of questions remain to be answered by CalHR and the departments, it does appear that employees who are in the process of completing their vaccine regimen will not be subject to punitive action if not completed by the deadline. Additionally, the reasonable accommodation request forms utilized by DSH (and likely other departments subject to vaccine mandates) is the starting point for the interactive process to assess the legitimacy of the claimed exemption and whether it can be reasonably accommodated. CalHR did indicate that there was no intent at this time to offer any additional incentives for employees to get vaccinated.
Yesterday, CalHR did issue a new set of FAQs which address questions related to the mandatory testing and proof of vaccination policy which can be found using this link: https://www.calhr.ca.gov/Documents/Verification-and-Testing-FAQs-08-17-2021.pdf?d=wce3ec9d384304cae9e3cb7363a87952f/
CalHR welcomed CSLEA's input on the various issues and agreed to take back some of the suggestions to be reviewed and acted upon the most important being clear communication from the departments as to how each program will be implemented. CSLEA will continue to provide updates as new information becomes available.
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