Denver city employee vaccine mandate approaching: What’s going to happen next?

Problem Solvers

DENVER (KDVR) — The Problem Solvers got new answers on Tuesday about whether city workers are meeting the vaccine mandate or not.

Workers have until Thursday to get fully vaccinated or get their exemption request approved.

Denver Public Health Director Bob McDonald says the 92% of worker compliance the city is seeing is good, but he expects it to get even better before the deadline comes on Thursday.

“Feel good about where we are and I believe within the next 48 hours, we’re going to see a lot of documentation downloaded and we will gain a high compliance with our mandate,” McDonald said.

The City of Denver is already fairing better than the state when it comes to vaccine mandates for workers.

The city reporting 92% of its workers are fully vaccinated or exempt for medical or religious reasons while only 78% state workers have been vaccinated. The unvaccinated state workers will have to be tested.

McDonald said he thinks some of those unaccounted for are holding out.

“Perhaps for whatever reason, we have some employees holding that documentation in their back pocket. I do think we’ll have some employees that want to see what happens after the first to see if we’re serious about compliance,” McDonald said.

The city is not playing around.

“The progressive discipline process will begin Friday,” said city attorney Kristin Bronson. “We are not going to be waiting around, letters about contemplations of discipline will go out within that first week or two and hearings will be set. Unfortunately, we will need to move forward.”

Employees will have a suspension lasting 10 days, without pay, to get on board with complying. McDonald said he plans on working with the leery during that time.

“You know we will start meeting with city employees that have not complied yet, trying to address those concerns and bring them along but there is no scenario in which a city employee can stay employed with the city and county of Denver long-term without being vaccinated or having a faith based or medical based exemption,” McDonald said.

If workers do not comply after that 10-day suspension or if they express they do not plan to get vaccinated while they are under suspension, the city will move forward with termination.

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