CHICAGO (AP) — Roughly 65% of Chicago Police Department employees have complied with a city requirement to report their COVID-19 vaccination status, lagging far behind other city departments Monday in a dispute that could lead to officer firings in the nation’s third-largest city.
Chicago is requiring its employees to be vaccinated by year’s end unless they have a religious or medical exemption. The first deadline to report vaccination status was Friday with those who didn’t respond facing unpaid leave. The head of the Fraternal Order of Police had urged members to defy the city’s requirement as both the city and union have taken the matter to court.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot told reporters Monday that the police department was assessing the number of employees who hadn’t reported their status and that a “very small number” of those employees had been placed on “no-pay status” after being given more opportunities to follow through.
Lightfoot accused the union of spreading misinformation and doubt about the reporting process, which asks for vaccination status and allows for a temporary window of regular COVID-19 testing at the employee’s own expense until vaccines can be administered.
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