CT Vaccine Mandates

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Dear Representatives,

We are all employees of Community Transit in Snohomish County, Washington. Community Transit is not a Municipal Agency or State Agency for we are a Public Transportation Benefit Area Corporation which means that we are elected by the Taxpayers of the cities that we represent. Since we provide Public Transportation that's funded on a Federal Level, we are bound to comply with Federal Guidelines to continue to receive funding. As of 9-28-21, Community Transit has informed us that they would be establishing weekly testing as of October 18th of all the employees that have not been vaccinated against Covid-19. They also made a mandate stating that we would be voluntarily resigning as of January 1st 2022 if we did not provide a proper pro-vaccination status. We have possibly up to 300 co-workers that will be effected by this directive, and this is not a voluntary resignation on our part. We are not even entitled to an individual Laudermill Hearing during this separation of employment. This is a forced termination instilled from an Organization that placed their political ideology and poorly biased information that doesn't follow OSHA or WISHA's guidance. This is retaliation against not meeting their goals on their paid incentive on getting as many people as possible vaccinated. Many of us have been with Community Transit for 10, 20, 30, and even nearly 40 years. We worked hard throughout the pandemic, continue to work hard while dealing with unmasked passengers that we have no enforcement over, and those several thousands of passengers that we transport daily are not being required to have vaccination status to use the same vehicles that we occupy so it's a double standard. These mandates do not follow the same guidelines as the federal mandate. It is extremely overzealous and discriminates against us while receiving federally funded grants but not complying in the same fashion. Their stipulations require us to either physically show a copy of our vaccination cards to our Human Resources Department, or submit a copy by photo to them. It also states that our cards will not stay on file, and HR will simply record our vaccination status. To me this sounds like that our Medical Records are in fact being a required submission to our employers, and we are being categorized with full prejudice due to this. Also as emailed to us on 10-8-21 is that our Medical and Religious Exemptions will be going through a multi step process that involves a panel of three interviewers. Even if the Exemption is approved Human Resources determines whether the employee qualifies for possible reassignment at a demoted level. "If the employee is not qualified or no position is available, the separation process begins." Which in my opinion is a Medical Condition Discrimination. They're even declining any Constructive Notices to Employers or Statement of Declination by stating "Alternative forms are not sufficient for requesting an accommodation/exemption to the vaccination policy. The approved Community Transit form must be completed to be considered for an accommodation/exemption." This sounds like a move made by an Elected Official, not by a person that's handling the taxpayers money. They have essentially created a caste system among the vaccinated and the unvaccinated and has significantly contributed to a hostile work environment by subjecting all of us to ridicule and bullying by our coworkers based off of our vaccination status. As our Representatives, we need your help to ensure that our job security and labor rights goes through the proper channels that don't undermine what a publicly audited private entity can do to us.

Update: As of 1-1-22, 64 employees were terminated and 5 were who work remotely were granted an accommodation. As of 6-11-22 only 3 of those employee still remain and they signed a right not to sue the Agency even though they are being forced out. 3 out of the near 900 employees are not vaccinated and they choose not to hire the people who are not vaccinated even if they have Medical or Religious waivers. Don't believe me? Do a public records request with them. They've made it very hard for the folks they have terminated by lying to Unemployment and barring them from receiving benefits. Also have made it hard for those same folks from applying with other employers.

Respectfully yours,

Concerned Coworkers

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