Inland Regional Heart in San Bernardino requiring workers to get coronavirus vaccine – San Bernardino Solar
All employees at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino must be vaccinated against COVID-19 unless they have an illness or religious belief that prevents it.
“Some of our own employees have witnessed the tragic death of a loved one as a result of this virus,” IRC spokesman CJ Cook said in an email. “The populations we serve and with whom we interact include those at extreme risk of serious illness or death if they were to contract COVID-19. In addition, many of them cannot be vaccinated because of their health condition or disability. “
The requirement isn’t good for many of the 770+ employees at the nonprofit agency that provides services to more than 39,800 San Bernardino and Riverside Counties residents with intellectual disabilities, autism, and cerebral palsy.
More than 1,100 people have signed an online petition on change.org entitled “STOP Inland Regional Center To Enforce Unapproved Vaccines Against Employees!” As of Tuesday, May 11th.
“Despite significant setbacks from employees who fear the long-term side effects of this experimental vaccine, the IRC continues to require the vaccine and is threatened with firing hundreds of employees,” the petition said. “Ironically, the Inland Regional Center’s goal is to uphold the rights of the developmentally disabled and ensure that they have ‘independence, inclusion and empowerment’, but they refuse to show the same respect to their staff.”
It is unclear how many of those who signed the petition work at the center or are clients of it.
Officials and board members who run the regional center did not answer questions beyond Cook’s testimony.
Several staff at the center declined to comment, saying they feared losing their jobs. The organizers of the petition could not be reached.
Executive Director Lavinia Johnson wrote in an email to staff on April 22 that everyone, without exception, must produce a copy of their vaccination card stating that they are either fully vaccinated or received the first shot and the second within the recommended one Has planned within the timeframe. You have until April 30 to provide this evidence, she wrote.
The centre’s stated policy is in accordance with the COVID-19 guidelines of the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
With the vaccine still approved for emergency use only, people have the right to refuse it, said Alex Volberding of Los Angeles-based law firm Liebert Cassidy Whitmore. However, IRC may refuse to hire anyone who is not vaccinated, he added.
“Except for those with a qualified disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act or those who have a sincere religious belief that prohibits vaccination, a company or nonprofit may require all employees to do so as part of their terms of employment,” he said . “For a government or unionized workforce, the requirement may need to be negotiated before it can be implemented.”
The California Department of Developmental Services, which oversees the IRC and 20 other regional centers nationwide, has promoted vaccination for “all eligible individuals, including consumers, caregivers, service providers, and regional center staff, to ensure the health and safety of the people we serve “The department said in a statement emailed.
It exchanged information to help people make appointments, but made no request, employees said in an email.
“Regional centers are private, non-profit employers and manage their workforce accordingly,” the email said.
The Inland Regional Center was the site of the 2015 San Bernardino terrorist attack, which left 14 dead and 22 wounded.
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