Nearly 1,900 Washington state workers were fired or quit over the state’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, officials said Tuesday.
Before the mandate led to resignations and terminations, the state had approximately 63,291 workers.
About 3 percent, or 1,887, left their jobs or were fired as of Oct. 18 due to the mandate, the state’s Office of Financial Management said.
About 9 out of 10 of the remaining employees verified they’re vaccinated and 3 percent received an accommodation of some sort. The remaining 4.6 percent are in the process of retiring or being fired or are seeking an accommodation but have not received it yet.
“The high number of state employees who have gotten vaccinated is good news. Good for the workers, their colleagues and the people they serve. While we are sorry to see that 3 percent go and we wish them well, we are pleased that it is not higher. Some have the option to return if they are fully vaccinated within the next month. Washington State government is a great place to work and these positions will be filled,” Mike Faulk, a spokesman for Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee, told The Epoch Times in an email.
“We have been planning for any potential outcomes for two months since the governor announced the requirement. Because of those efforts and the sky-high compliance rate, this will not lead to any massive disruptions,” he added.
Inslee announced the mandate in August. He said it was due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re in the middle of an explosive threat to our freedoms because of this disease. We want the freedom of not having to shut down our economy again. We want the freedom of not having to wear masks sometime in the future. We want freedom of our children not having to worry about getting this disease, and we want freedom for everyone to live without even to think about the COVID virus. And we know that there is only one path to that freedom and that is through more Washingtonians getting this safe, effective, successful vaccine,” the Democrat told a press conference at the time.