City of Oakland Mandates Employee Vaccinations

Date Posted: October 4th, 2021 @ 2:36 PM
Last Updated: October 4th, 2021 @ 2:40 PM
COVID-19 vaccine

Oakland, CA – To provide a safe and healthy workplace for City employees and their families, protect the public we serve, and reduce the risk of community transmission—and in alignment with public health guidance—today City Administrator Ed Reiskin issued Administrative Instruction 593—Employee Mandatory Vaccination Policy.

Effective today, this new policy requires that all employees must, as a condition of employment:

  1. Report and verify their vaccination status to the City no later than November 15, 2021; and
  2. Be fully vaccinated as defined by this policy no later than November 29, 2021, unless the employee has applied for an exemption, and unless stricter Federal, State, or other legal requirements apply.

The policy applies to all employees, interns, and volunteers. It does not apply to vendors or visitors. It provides a system for requesting exemptions for medical reasons or for sincerely held religious beliefs.

“Vaccinations are safe and effective and, at this point, essential; they are free and easy to get. I firmly believe the most responsible action for us to take as an employer – particularly a public employer – is to require our employees to be vaccinated,” said City Administrator Reiskin. “I’m glad that other employers, public and private, are following suit.”

To make it convenient for employees to get vaccinated, the City set up three free vaccination clinics at City worksites (Municipal Service Center, Police Administration Building, and 250 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza). Under the new policy, City workers can take up to 2 hours paid time for each vaccination.

The public health data is clear: vaccination is the most effective tool we have to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, protect against hospitalizations and death, and bring an end to this pandemic that has killed 4.4 million people around the globe. Public health experts warn that COVID-19 poses a more significant risk to individuals who are not fully vaccinated. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), unvaccinated people are 17 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19.