Inslee issues directive for COVID-19 vaccination standards for state employees

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Gov. Jay Inslee has directed his cabinet agencies to implement policies to require their employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The Office of Financial Management will begin the process of rulemaking and engage in bargaining with labor.

At this time, current employees are not required to have recommended boosters, though current exempt and non-represented employees will need to be boosted consistent with CDC recommendations by July 1, 2023. In addition, during 2023–2025 successor bargaining occurring this summer, the governor has directed that management pursue a policy requiring current represented employees to be up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccination, including any boosters recommended by the CDC.

The governor has also directed that agencies require all new employees to be fully up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccination prior to starting work, including any recommended boosters. This change will take effect at the conclusion of rulemaking, sometime in the fall of 2022.

This directive applies to the governor’s executive and small cabinet agencies. The governor encourages other agencies such as higher education and agencies led by separately elected officials to consider implementing similar measures.

In issuing this directive, the governor is exercising his executive authority, not the emergency powers he used to issue other COVID-19-related emergency orders.

Directive 22-13.

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