Unvaccinated Kaiser Permanente employees could face unpaid leave come Friday

Local News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — By Friday, Kaiser Permanente employees who haven’t been vaccinated against COVID-19 could be placed on administrative leave without pay.

Kaiser’s vaccine policy was announced in early August alongside the state’s mandate. The requirement set by both Kaiser and California officials says health care workers must be fully vaccinated by Thursday.

From Oct. 1 through Nov. 30, the health care company said employees who are not fully vaccinated or have not received an exemption could face unpaid leave for up to 60 days. If an employee doesn’t meet Kaiser’s requirements by Dec. 1, they “risk termination,” a spokesperson told FOX40.

“Our goal is not to end anyone’s employment – it’s to ensure that our workforce, patients, and communities are safe as possible from the virus,” the spokesperson wrote Thursday. “We are optimistic that the vast majority of our employees will choose to be vaccinated and ultimately, our vaccine mandate is motivating our workforce – and we believe many of their family members also – to get educated, to get vaccinated and do their part to help end this pandemic.”

Of its more than 216,000 employees, Kaiser said Thursday over 90% have been vaccinated against COVID-19. Nearly all of its physicians are vaccinated.

Kaiser has since extended its policy to the contractors, vendors and suppliers who go into its facilities.

Some health care workers have protested the mandates, saying they violate their freedom of choice.

“The mandate hurt my feelings and it made a hostile work environment,” nurse Carly Rinaldi said of the state’s mandate. “It makes extra added stress in an already stressful time.”

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