More than 1,800 Washington workers were fired or left their jobs over the COVID-19 mandate for state workers

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More than 1,800 Washington workers were fired or left their jobs over the COVID-19 mandate for state workers
More than 1,800 Washington state workers were terminated or left their jobs because of the state's COVID-19 vaccine mandate, per OFM data. Radek Mica/Getty Images
  • Nearly 1,900 Washington state workers were fired or left their jobs due to the state's vaccine mandate.
  • Gov. Jay Inslee said the deadline for state employees to be fully vaccinated was Monday.

More than 1,800 Washington state workers were fired or left their jobs because of the state's COVID-19 vaccine mandate, according to Office of Financial Management (OFM) data released Tuesday.

In August, Gov. Jay Inslee issued a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for the majority of state workers, including healthcare workers, on-site contractors, teachers, and volunteers.

The deadline for these state employees to be fully vaccinated was Monday. Employees who don't get the vaccine can be dismissed from work for failing to meet legal employment requirements, per the governor's mandate.

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Of 63,291 Washington state workers, 1,887 (3%) had been terminated or left their jobs over the vaccine mandate as of Monday, the OFM's data showed.

Out of the 1,887 who no longer have jobs, 1,696 were fired, 112 resigned, and 79 retired, according to the data.

Nearly 90% of state employees subject to the mandate have verified that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, per the data.

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The data also showed that 1,927 workers received a job accommodation allowing them to work in another position without being vaccinated.

Just over 4% of state employees, or 2,887 people, are pending verification because they're in the process of either getting vaccinated, receiving a job accommodation, planning to retire, or awaiting separation from their agency, the data said.

"The high number of state employees who have gotten vaccinated is good news," Gov. Inslee's spokesperson, Tara Lee, told The Seattle Times in an email. "While we are sorry to see that 3% go and we wish them well, we are pleased that it is not higher."

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The Washington state police force announced on Tuesday that nearly 95% of its employees have complied with the mandate.

Meanwhile, Washington State University fired its football coach, Nick Rolovich, and four of his assistants on Monday after they refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

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