city of san diego

City of San Diego Opens Application Window for Employees Seeking Vaccine Exemptions

Employees were sent a letter on October 29, outlining the process for which they would be able to submit requests for medical or religious exemption from the City's COVID-19 vaccine mandate

US COVID-19 Vaccine Vial

Monday began a 30-day window in which City of San Diego employees are able to submit requests for medical or religious exemptions from the city's mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy.

Employees are able to submit a request for medical or religious exemptions, or must provide proof of full vaccination, by Dec. 1, according to a letter provided to NBC 7 by the city.

If an employee requests reasonable accommodation and exemption by Dec. 1, 2021, the employee's will keep their job while the city reviews the request.

The exemptions allowed are described as:

  • Medical Exemption: If an employee has a disability or medical condition that makes it medically inadvisable for them to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, as verified by their health care provider.
  • Religious Exemption: If an employee has a sincerely held religious belief, observance or practice that prevents them from receiving a COVID19 vaccine.

The review process for each employee's request will be an "interactive process involving review of the employee's written submissions as well as communications with the employee to determine the employee's circumstances and potential appropriate accommodations."

The letter cautions employees that "An employee's qualification for medical or religious exemption does not guarantee the City will be able to reasonably accommodate the employee or that the employee will be reasonably accommodated in the way the employee prefers."

The letter states the city will review requests for accommodation and exemption on a case-by-case basis in compliance with city, state and federal laws.

City of San Diego Religious Exemption Form

City of San Diego Medical Exemption Form

As of October 29, 2021, there were 2,414 (21.47%) city employees who had reported they were not fully vaccinated, including 802 members of the city's municipal employees association and another 755 from the city's police union which represents the city's law enforcement officers. Another 405 employees had not reported their vaccination status.

The city announced at the end of September that its deadline for all city employees to become fully vaccinated had been pushed back from Nov. 2 to Dec.1 as negotiations with the city's main employee unions continued.

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