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King County reaches agreement with unions over vaccine mandate for county employees

As of September 21, 80% of King County employees are fully vaccinated.

SEATTLE — King County reached an agreement with its unions Wednesday over the vaccine mandate for county employees. 

The unions represent 95% of the county’s workforce in the Executive Branch, which is about 6,000 people. 

Under the vaccine mandate issued in August, King County workers were supposed to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 18. Since that order was issued, the Office of Labor Relations has been in negotiations with the unions over how the mandate will be implemented. 

Wednesday's agreement extends the date of full vaccination to Dec. 2. 

The deal reached Wednesday also allows workers to take COVID-19 leave if they have side effects from the vaccine and paid leave if they contract the virus. 

Regarding exemptions, a statement from the county said, "Employees may make requests for a reasonable accommodation based on a medical disability or for sincerely held religious beliefs." The county will then determine if the requests can be met. 

As of Sept. 21, the county said 80% of its workers are fully vaccinated. 

RELATED: King County to require proof of vaccination for indoor dining, gyms and events starting Oct. 25