LA ends controversial vaccine mandate for city employees

Nearly three years after a vaccine requirement was implemented for its employees, the Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday voted to rescind the controversial mandate.

Council members approved an ordinance in a 13-0 vote to terminate the vaccination policy for all current and future city workers retroactive to June 2, as recommended by the city's Executive Employee Relations Committee.

The proposed ordinance terminates the city’s COVID-19 vaccination policy for all current and future city workers retroactive to June 2.  The ordinance also establishes a pathway back to employment for 86 ex-city workers who had been terminated for non-compliance. 

According to the motion authored by Councilwoman Traci Park and Council President Paul Krekorian, the city took unprecedented steps to "protect the health of its workforce and residents, which included the adoption of a vaccine mandate. The policy resulted in an 82% vaccination rate among full-time city employees."

Vaccinated people can still contract and transmit COVID, but health officials said the shots can lower the severity of symptoms and prevent the chances of hospitalization and even death.


"It makes clear that individuals who were terminated or separated from employment related to the vaccine mandate are eligible for rehire.  This is related to a motion that I introduced last year to repeal this mandate to catch us up with the feds, the state, the county, our local school district and to end barriers to employment in the city," said Councilmember Park appearing on the FOX 11 News at 6 p.m. with Marla Tellez ahead of Tuesday’s vote. 

The decision to end the policy comes after several Southern California cities and government agencies phased out similar requirements. 

In April, Los Angeles County ended its vaccination requirement for existing and new county employees, which followed a related action by the L.A. County Board of Supervisors to end vaccination requirements for certain contractors.

The Biden administration ended its COVID-19 vaccination requirements for federal employees and contractors in May, citing a 98% compliance rate among its federal workforce, as well as a significant decline in hospitalizations and fatalities.

In September, the Los Angeles Unified School District ended its vaccination requirement for staff, including teachers.

City News Service contributed to this report.