108 Firefighters Taken Off Duty Without Pay Over Vaccine Mandate


Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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The Los Angeles Fire Department has removed 108 firefighters from duty without pay after they failed to get vaccinated per the city’s vaccine mandate, the fire department said.

Los Angeles requires all municipal employees to get the coronavirus vaccine by Dec. 18 and those who are not yet vaccinated must be regularly tested, with the cost of each test falling on the employee.

The department originally placed 113 firefighters on leave without pay Monday after having sent 222 notices to personnel in November warning of the consequences for refusing to take the vaccine, according to ABC 7. As of Tuesday, 108 firefigheres were taken off duty without pay, according to Los Angeles Fire Department’s Cheryl Getuiza. Getuiza said the daily number of members who are off-duty without pay changes each day depending on whether firefighters get vaccinated or submit to testing.

Any firefighter who refuses to get the vaccine before the deadline “will be entered into the process for termination of their employment, as outlined in the City Charter,” Getuiza said, according to the outlet. (RELATED: De Blasio Announces That NYC Will Mandate Vaccines For Private Sector Workers)

Three-hundred and twenty-one individuals in the department have filed for an exemption, according to ABC7. Each exemption request is reviewed on a case-by-case basis and if the exemption is approved the city will cover testing expenses, according to the report. If the exemption request is denied, the employee can file an appeal.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mary Strobel denied a request from the city’s firefighters’ union on Friday asking for a preliminary injunction preventing the mandate from being enforced, ruling in the interest of public health, according to ABC 7.

The union argued the city failed to “bargain in good faith” with them over the mandate and wanted the injunction until the city and the union could work things out, according to the report.