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Internal memo says King County sheriff’s employees won’t be immediately fired on vaccine deadline

Employees who aren't vaccinated will get a letter "proposing separation" and outlining a time for a hearing instead of immediately losing their jobs on Oct. 18.
Credit: King County Sheriff's Office

KING COUNTY, Wash. — King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) employees who do not provide vaccine verification or apply for an exemption by Oct. 18 will not automatically lose their jobs, according to an internal memo from King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknect to employees.

A KCSO spokesperson confirmed the email was sent to employees on Thursday.

All King County employees are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or apply for a medical or religious exemption by Oct. 18 or risk losing their jobs, per a mandate handed down by King County Executive Dow Constantine in early August.

However, KCSO employees who do not show proof of vaccination or have an approved exemption are instructed to keep reporting to work “until further notice,” according to the email.

Employees will instead receive a letter “on or about October 20th proposing separation,” the memo reads. The letter will give employees several response options, and contain an assigned date and time for a “Loudermill hearing” where an employee can present their reasonings before separation is taken.

KING 5 has reached out to the sheriff’s office for comment and is awaiting a response.

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