Mayor Tom Barrett Announces COVID Vaccination Will Be Required for General City Employees
August 24, 2021
MILWAUKEE—Mayor Tom Barrett announced today that COVID-19 vaccinations will be required for City of Milwaukee employees. The decision follows comprehensive reviews by both the Milwaukee Health Department and the City’s Department of Employee Relations.
The new requirement for general city employees—including temporary employees and interns—is effective as of Wednesday, September 1, 2021. Unvaccinated employees will have until Friday, October 29, 2021 to produce proof of vaccination. Employees who do not comply with the requirements will face an initial unpaid suspension for up to 30 days, and continued failure to comply will result in separation from employment.
The decision follows United States Food and Drug Administration formal approval on Monday of the Pfizer vaccine. The City remains in discussion with public employee unions about the applicability of new requirements to their members. As of now, the vaccination requirements do not apply to union-represented employees.
“We have an obligation to provide a safe workplace for all employees, and a vaccinated workforce is part of that,” Mayor Barrett said. “A vaccinated workforce also helps protect members of the public who interact with employees, as well as family members of City employees.”
City employees will receive up to two hours of paid leave to receive vaccinations. The new City policy includes provisions for employees requesting exemption from the vaccination requirement based on specific medical or religious criteria.
The Milwaukee Health Department provides free COVID-19 vaccinations at the Northwest Health Center located at 7630 W. Mill Rd. and at the Southside Health Center located at 1639 S. 23rd St. Both locations are open on Mondays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays from Noon to 6 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Additionally, the Milwaukee Health Department will host vaccination clinics for City employees at various locations. Hours and locations of the vaccination clinics will be provided in the coming days. Employees can also go to their healthcare provider or local pharmacies for free administration of the vaccine.