L.A. Unified fires nearly 500 unvaccinated employees

Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images
An empty classroom is seen at Hollywood High School on August 13, 2020 in Hollywood, California. Photo credit Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

LOS ANGELES (KNX) — Hundreds of Los Angeles Unified School District employees were fired Tuesday for failing to comply with a district-wide mandate to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

All seven LAUSD board members voted unanimously in a series of separate motions to terminate the nearly 500 workers, the vast majority of whom have been on leave since mid-October after failing to meet an initial staff vaccination deadline. District employees were required to receive their second dose by Nov. 15.

A district spokesperson said Tuesday that nearly 99% of district employees have been vaccinated. The 496 let go were indeed terminated for failing to comply with the vaccine mandate. The spokesperson did not clarify what portion of those terminated were teachers.

Terminated employees who later become fully vaccinated may be eligible for reinstatement, the district said.

“Parting ways with individuals who choose not to be vaccinated is an extremely difficult, but necessary decision to ensure the safety of all in our school communities,” interim LAUSD Superintendent Megan Reilly said in a statement after Tuesday’s vote. “We wish everyone the best in their future endeavors and encourage everyone to get vaccinated.”

About 1,100 employees, including those fired Tuesday, were non-compliant with the vaccine mandate and had not been granted medical or religious exemptions. Board members said further dismissals are expected to be handed down in the coming weeks.

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