This is the 11th in a series of stories of people being fired from their jobs because they have declined to take the required Covid-19 vaccination. The identities of these workers are being kept confidential because they fear reprisal. More stories will be included in future editions of this series as it continues. Previous interviews in this series are listed and linked at the bottom of this story. Send your story to [email protected].
Sam is in the unenviable position of have to threaten termination of a great employee if she is not fully vaccinated or have an “approved” exemption on file by Dec. 8. She’s got just 59 days left, if something doesn’t change.
When the presidential executive order first came out on Sept. 9 for government employees, federal contractors (and Sam’s company is one of them), and for businesses with more than 100 employees, Sam’s company was allowed to simply have an affidavit on hand declaring the employees’ status as vaccinated, exempt, intending to get vaccinated, or intending to not get vaccinated.
Those protesting would be fired Dec. 8. Rules for this are being issued by the government agency that contracts to Sam’s company. (Both Sam’s real name and his company name are being kept confidential so his story can be told.)
The first rule change was on Oct. 5, Sam said: “They want copies of our vaccination cards on file in our office, to be shown or disclosed to no one except proper authorities present in our office. “
The second rules change came on Oct. 7: “Vaccination card copies and copies of the affidavits must be sent to the contractor and the agency,” which Sam sees as a violation of HIPAA, a health privacy law, as well as stored on site.
Sam said home Covid testing is currently acceptable as a form of testing for Covid-19, a relief to him, since there are no health care facilities in the rural community, and no entity is capable of doing Covid testing on a regular basis.
“Still, there are no rules listed for what qualifies as an acceptable exemption –religious or medical — and the language of the government order is threatening to anyone who desires an exemption. Exemption requests have to be approved by the contractor and the contracting agency. Approved exemptions will require continued testing – at employees’ own expense after Dec. 8,” he said.
“Our contractor has generously offered to pay for testing until then,” Sam said. But the restrictions continue to escalate, he said.
“Our labor union is telling us this is not a grievable action – their contract is with our company, not the feds, and not restricted by the collective bargaining agreement. Perhaps they don’t want to further embarrass their man in D.C. They are simply ducking the issue of whether organized labor will back anyone protesting the mandate,” Sam said.
“The orders for our union are coming all the way from the AFL-CIO – the union of labor unions. My employee has concerns because she had an allergic reaction to a vaccine in the past, and should qualify for a medical exemption, but the feds are just demanding she travel to Fairbanks and get jabbed at a clinic close to the hospital. She must travel at her own expense,” Sam said. “Our local health aide counseled her not to take the vaccine with her concern about anaphylaxis.”
“My employee feels severely bullied and really needs to keep her job, so she has made arrangements to travel to get poked. She is in fear of her life, lifestyle, and home – all because of an unconstitutional mandate,” he said.
Send your story to SuzanneDowning @ protonmail dot com. Your name and other identifiers will be kept confidential.