CHICAGO — Chicago police officers will face no-pay status if they miss Sunday’s deadline to get the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.
This comes after months of legal challenges from some city workers.
Chicago fire captain Rob Tebbens has been on no-pay status since November. He said there are security risks with the city’s portal and he has refused to report his vaccination status.
According to the latest city numbers, more than 300 firefighters and nearly 2,800 police officers remain unvaccinated.
Arbitration rulings sided with Mayor Lori Lightfoot upholding the vaccine mandate.
Sunday’s deadline applies only to members of the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police. The deadline for firefighters and other city workers has already passed.
A spokesperson for the Mayor’s office released this statement:
“Employees who fail to comply with the City’s vaccination policy will be placed in a non-disciplinary, no pay status until they come into compliance with the policy. All City employees, including Chicago Police Officers, who fail to comply may also face disciplinary action, up to and including termination. These decisions will be addressed at an individual and department level, and are being undertaken in a manner that will not impact public safety or the continuity of everyday government operations. Union-covered and career service employees are entitled to appeal a termination. For some of those employees, the hearing is with the Human Resources Board, for others it will take place with an arbitrator. At-will employees can be terminated at will.”
A dozen Chicago aldermen sent the mayor a letter demanding she put in writing that no city employee will be disciplined or terminated until there is a plan incorporating natural immunity and a fair exemption process. They promised to call for a special city council meeting if they don’t hear back from the mayor by the end of the business day on Friday.