The City of Vernon has an unwavering commitment to the health and safety of its citizens, visitors and employees. As part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic and continued impacts from the virus, the City has implemented a Proof of Vaccination Policy.
The Policy – which applies to all City employees and volunteers engaged in supporting municipal services, including volunteers appointed to City committees, commissions, or task forces – requires proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 by January 14, 2022.
“The COVID-19 environment continues to be dynamic and rapidly changing,” said Will Pearce, Chief Administrative Officer. “Throughout the pandemic, the City has taken many specific steps to maintain a safe and healthy environment in our facilities and among our employees, all in alignment with the guidance and directives of health authorities and WorkSafeBC.”
“We know the impacts of this virus are serious and can be far-reaching, negatively affecting individuals, families, workplaces, and entire communities,” said Pearce. “We also know vaccination is the scientifically established best means to fight the pandemic. Therefore, implementing this policy is a vital step to help further protect employees and the community, as well as maintain the effective delivery of essential services our citizens rely upon every day.”
The implementation of the policy today will allow sufficient time for employees and volunteers who have not been fully vaccinated to receive Health Canada approved COVID-19 first and second doses by January 14, 2022.
The City recognizes some employees cannot be vaccinated and will accommodate those individuals who require an exemption from the policy on the basis of a protected legal ground, such as for medical or other grounds protected under the Human Rights Code.
If an employee chooses not to comply with the policy and is not entitled to accommodation, the City will review the circumstances and implement appropriate actions to protect the workplace health and safety. Such actions may include placing the employee on an unpaid leave of absence and/or disciplining the employee up to and including termination of their employment.