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21 Dec

December 2021: Washington State Continues to Mandate COVID-19 Vaccination for Certain Workers

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Update Applicable to:
All businesses with employees, on-site volunteers, or on-site contractors in a state agency, healthcare setting, and educational setting.

What happened?
On November 24, 2021, Governor Inslee issued Proclamation 21-14.4 which applies a vaccine mandate for certain workers in the state of Washington.

What are the details?
Effective since November 24, 2022, employers are required to enforce the vaccine mandate to employees, on-site volunteers, or on-site contractors for:

  • State agencies;
  • Operators of any educational setting; and
  • Operators of any healthcare setting.

It also applies to “Health Care Providers,” who are defined as:

  • Any individual with credentials listed on the Healthcare Professional Credentialing Requirements list;
  • Individuals who are permitted by law to provide healthcare services in a professional capacity without holding a credential;
  • Long-term care workers (unless specifically excluded); and
  • Workers in any “Health Care Setting,” which is defined as any public or private setting that is primarily used to deliver in-person healthcare services to people.

The Proclamation does not include in-home care or hospice care providers.

The Proclamation has exceptions and exemptions for disability and sincerely held religious beliefs, practices, or observances unless providing accommodation does not cause an undue hardship on the employer.

Under the Proclamation, before granting a disability-related reasonable accommodation, covered employers must obtain from the worker documentation from an appropriate healthcare or rehabilitation professional stating that the individual’s disability necessitates an accommodation and the duration of the need for an accommodation.

Individuals seeking exemption from the vaccine mandate for religious reasons must provide a document that explains the way in which the vaccine requirement conflicts with the individual’s sincerely held religious observance, practice, or belief.

For more information, please see the links below:

Proclamation 21-14.3

Article 1Article 2Article 3

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links above and their vaccination policies to ensure they comply with the new mandate.