JOHNSON COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

Warnings may arrive soon for some Johnson County employees

Board considers action against those who have not disclosed vaccination status

By Paul D. Bowker
Posted 1/3/22

IOWA CITY

The Johnson County Board of Supervisors is moving closer to authorizing warnings to county employees who have not returned Covid vaccination status forms. As of the board’s work …

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JOHNSON COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

Warnings may arrive soon for some Johnson County employees

Board considers action against those who have not disclosed vaccination status

Posted

IOWA CITY

The Johnson County Board of Supervisors is moving closer to authorizing warnings to county employees who have not returned Covid vaccination status forms. As of the board’s work session on December 29, 49 of the county’s 584 employees had not complied with a deadline that originally was set for December 13.

“We’ve got several employees who are concerned about privacy issues,” said Adam Grier, Johnson County Risk Management Coordinator.

The patience of board members is clearly running out with a January 31 mandate on vaccinations and testing rapidly approaching.

“The policy was in place and they knew it,” said Supervisor Lisa Green-Douglass.

Supervisor Rod Sullivan, who himself had to participate in board meetings last week via Zoom because he had close contact with a person who may be infected, said it was time to establish a solid deadline on the return of status forms.

“If we don’t stick to our guns, this is going to be pointless,” Sullivan said.

The board was scheduled to discuss the issue again Wednesday with a possibility that Friday would be the deadline for all employees to return vaccination status forms. After that, board members agreed, non-conforming employees would be subject to verbal warnings, written warnings and other penalties.

Beginning January 31, unvaccinated employees must be tested weekly and they cannot begin work until a negative test is returned, according to current policy. Employees can request a medical or religious exemption.

The mandate was deferred four weeks due to litigation that was being considered in federal courts. A Federal Court of Appeals decision on December 17 lifted a stay on Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enforcement of vaccine mandates for employers that have more than 100 workers.

A mask mandate remains in place in all Johnson County buildings, regardless of vaccination status. The mask mandate expires January 15, but is likely to be extended soon by the board.

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