KING COUNTY, Wash. - As the dust settles from the state's vaccine mandate, agencies from King County to Washington State Department of Transportation report that, while most employees have been vaccinated, hundreds of people will lose their jobs.
Numbers from King County report that 13,830 employees complied with the mandate, or around 96.8% of the workforce. Of the rest, 639 are waiting on religious or medical exemptions, 396 are on extended leave and will need to comply when they return to work, and 450 did not comply and will receive termination letters this week.
The King County Executive's Office has a further breakdown of the numbers:
- Of the King County Sheriff's Office's 623 employees, 71 are waiting on exemptions and 12 did not comply
- Of King County Metro's 2,614 employees, 119 are waiting on exemptions and 96 did not comply
County officials expect more employees will confirm their vaccination status during the separation process, which would allow them to return to work.
As for WSDOT, a total of 402 employees across the state will lose their jobs, but agencies are still seeing majority compliance with the mandate:
- Washington State Ferries is losing 132 employees
- Northwest Region WSDOT is losing 40 employees
- Olympic Region is losing 34 employees
- Southwest Region is losing 38 employees
- South Central Region is losing 50 employees
- North Central Region is losing 28 employees
- Eastern Region is losing 42 employees
- Mega programs are losing six employees
- Headquarters is losing 32 employees
Not all of WSDOT's employee terminations are non-compliance to the mandate, as some are listed as retirements with no reason given. Other, previously planned retirements do not factor into this count.
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