D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine has mandated that every employee in his office get vaccinated against COVID-19.
The new policy includes all Office of the Attorney General employees, contractors and interns coming into the office, except for individuals with a religious, medical or emergency use exemption.
The policy comes as cases increase across the D.C. region. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said Tuesday the city will consider policies that keep residents safe, including those in place in New York City that require proof of vaccination for restaurant guests and gym customers.
“Every day at OAG, we come to work seeking to protect District residents and keep them safe. That mantra applies to our own employees as well. At OAG, protecting our employees — especially as they start to come back to work — is paramount. Each of us must do our part to protect ourselves and our communities from COVID-19,” Racine said in a statement.
“With OAG’s back-to-work and vaccination policy, we’re taking action to help reduce risk and improve the safety of those who come into the office in-person, as well as the residents our employees interact with and serve.”
A spokeswoman for the OAG’s office, which operates independently from the rest of D.C. government, said employees received the new policy Tuesday.
All employees will need to show proof of vaccination before returning to the workspace — which is slated to start in a phased process Sept. 13 — by close of business Aug. 13.
Those who are granted an exemption will be required to get tested weekly.
In addition, everyone in office workspaces has to wear a mask or facial covering unless they’re alone with the door closed.
According to a statement, Racine and his office have “conducted office-wide surveys, had multiple conversations with our various employee unions, received feedback from managers and employees, held listening sessions with staff, and taken painstaking efforts to be thoughtful about our policy” over the last several months.
“Much of that feedback reinforced that the majority of OAG employees support a policy that requires COVID-19 vaccinations for most employees who return to the office in-person. We have also consulted with legal industry partners and other municipalities about best safety practices.”
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