February 3, 2023
Bulletin 5 – 23
UFLAC has been made aware that the City Personnel Department has sent notification to city managers stating that:
“Effective immediately all existing (COVID vaccine mandate) exemption requests pending as of January 31, 2023, both medical and religious, filed by current employees will be administratively allowed.”
It is our understanding that all impacted UFLAC members who currently have exemption requests pending with the City will receive notification from LAFD Administration informing them that their exemption request has been approved and they will NOT have to take the vaccine in order to continue their employment with the City of Los Angeles.
This notice from the Personnel Department further stated that:
“Exemption requests submitted after January 31, 2023, will continue to be reviewed and evaluated on an individual basis and processed according to the Vaccine Exemption Procedures.”
We are proud of the fact that more than 99% of our members made the decision to be in compliance – by either taking the vaccine or submitting an exemption request and continuing to work. In addition, four of our members who had previously been out of compliance and LW recently followed our guidance and submitted their exemption requests prior to January 31, 2023. Per this policy these members’ exemption requests will also be approved and they will be able to return to work immediately. At this point, only one of our members has been terminated because of this policy, while other big city fire departments have lost dozens and dozens of members to termination due to their mandates.
UFLAC is continuing to push for the removal of the vaccine mandate, but in the meantime this should serve as a tremendous relief for all of our members who have listened to our strong and repeated advice to submit exemption requests in order to stay in compliance and continue working.
This issue has divided our members and our department for far too long. With this news, we can continue to move forward in a positive direction.
We will update all members with additional information as it becomes available.
UFLAC Executive Board