All California State Assembly staff must be in the process of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine by Sept. 1, according to an announcement by Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Los Angeles, on Monday.
“Having a fully vaccinated staff will make the California State Assembly a national leader in COVID safety,” Rendon wrote to Assembly staff in a memo. “We cannot end COVID alone, but we can take steps to move us in the right direction and to lead by example. Acting together offers a way to get beyond this pandemic.”
Assemblywoman Suzette Valladares, R-Santa Clarita, who represents much of the Santa Clarita Valley in the Assembly, said she favors vaccination but also expressed concern about medical privacy.
“I’m pro-vaccine and am fully vaccinated, and have encouraged my staff to get their vaccines,” she said in a prepared statement. “I do respect their health and medical privacy and believe we need to protect that for everyone while caring for public health.”
The office of Assemblyman Tom Lackey, R-Palmdale, declined to comment.
More than 80% of Assembly staff are vaccinated, according to Rendon’s memo, which noted the possibility of exemptions for employees with medical or religious reasons for not receiving the vaccine.
Those eligible but who refuse “may be subject to adverse action, up to and including termination of employment,” according to the memo.
Regular testing for Assembly staff will also be necessary.
“All unvaccinated employees working in the Capitol or the Legislative Office Building (LOB) are required to have daily testing for infection until they have completed the vaccine regimen. Vaccinated employees whose job requires floor and committee hearing participation will be tested twice a week,” the memo stated.