San Francisco rolls out one more vaccine mandate

Kimberly Tucker (right), SFDPH nurse, gives Sheryl Davis, Human Rights Commision director (left) the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccine clinic on March 16, 2021 in San Francisco.

Lea Suzuki/The Chronicle

San Francisco will require all city contractors who work alongside employees on a regular basis in city-run facilities to get vaccinated under a new order issued by Mayor London Breed Friday.

The order follows the city’s existing vaccine mandate for its 35,000 city employees, addressing the city’s extensive contracting system, and reflects similar federal mandates for contractors.

Contractors who qualify will have to be fully vaccinated — meaning 14 days have passed since their second vaccine shot — by Dec. 31. The city will require contractors to follow the policy under all new contracts that start Jan. 1.


Article continues below this ad

The city has thousands of contractors, but not all will fall under the mandate. Exactly which contractors will have to get shots isn’t yet clear — the City Administrator will release specifics on Oct. 15 — but it’s intended to target someone such as a nonprofit worker at a work station alongside city employees instead of a repairman fixing an appliance.

If a contractor who falls under the order doesn’t get vaccinated, their employer could remove them from the workplace and replace them with a vaccinated employee. But if the employer refuses to comply with the order, the city could terminate the organization’s contract.

“Our vaccine mandate for City employees has always been about protecting the public we serve and protecting our workforce,” Breed said in a statement. “By extending the mandate to contractors who work alongside our City workers, we are continuing to do everything we can to keep our City workforce strong and healthy.”

As of Wednesday, 1,705 city employees — less than 5% of the workforce — were unvaccinated, and 364 had not reported their vaccination status. That number dropped from 2,706 unvaccinated and 939 unreported on Sept. 23. Those who don’t comply by the deadline of Nov. 1 could lose their jobs.


Article continues below this ad

Human Resources Director Carol Isen said she was pleased with the high vaccination rate among employees and that mandating the same for contractors who regularly work alongside them was “the right thing to do.”

Contractors will be able to get religious and medical exemptions. The city couldn’t provide a number of how many contractors it has total, and doesn’t know how many are already vaccinated.

Some contractors who work in high-risk settings — such as hospitals, homeless shelters and nursing homes — already had to get their shots by Sept. 30 along with city workers in those facilities.

While some of the city’s powerful municipal unions, including those that represent firefighters, police and sheriff’s deputies, have opposed the citywide employee vaccine mandate, not all contractors are unionized, so any protest to the mandate could be more muted.


Article continues below this ad

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button