Washington County employees are being told to either get vaccinated or tested weekly or they will possibly lose their jobs.
After revisiting the matter of enforcement in its Amended Order and Policy establishing Mandatory Vaccine COVID-19 Guidelines for Employees of Washington County, the Washington County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 in approval of the latest draft.
BOS president Carl McGee and District 1 Supervisor Lee Gordon were the dissenting votes.
The order, which was signed by McGee on Monday, will need to be accepted as part of the minutes of the next regular meeting on Tuesday.
Subsequent to that, questions as to how department heads are to enforce the mandate arose.
Section 5 of the order summarily states county employees who elect not to take the vaccine must agree to weekly testing at their own cost without additional leave time and must provide the county administrator "proof of the same" within two days thereafter.
The wearing of face masks and coverings at all times while in the workplace and performing job duties is still expected to be adhered to.
With the Sheriff’s Department in particular, clear direction as to what the consequences for noncompliance would be was sought after and prompted the BOS to reexamine and amend the mandate.
The section of the order entitled “Enforcement” states, “Any employee who fails to submit proof of vaccination as required by Sections 3 and 4 of this policy or proof of compliance with the negative tests policy as required by Section 5 of this policy shall be immediately placed on administrative leave without pay for a period not to exceed ten days. Said person may return to work only after proof of compliance with the vaccine mandate or testing mandate.”
The section goes on to state, “Further, unless said employee presents proof of compliance as herein provided for within ten days the said employee shall be deemed terminated. A second or subsequent violation of this policy shall result in immediate termination.”