PHILADELPHIA — To further protect the workforce and the public it serves, the City of Philadelphia today announced it is extending vaccination requirements to all City employees and certain City contractors effective January 14, 2022. This includes employees represented by a union. Previously, the City’s employee vaccine mandates covered health care workers as well as exempt and non-represented employees.

In order to continue working in their current position, all individuals covered by this policy are required to complete a full schedule of COVID-19 vaccination(s) and provide proof of their vaccination status; or, be granted an exemption to the vaccination requirements, by January 14, 2022.

“Philadelphia has worked hard to turn back COVID-19, and we have had success in doing so through our shared commitment to safety protocols, including vaccinations. However, that fight is not over, and the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines remain our best weapon in this ongoing struggle,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “As public servants, we bear a responsibility to mitigate the harm that would result from inadvertent transmission of COVID-19 to our colleagues and the public and to set an example for other organizations and companies. We owe it to our city—and to ourselves—to do all we can to keep us all safe.”

This mandate represents the City’s latest step towards full vaccination of its workforce, with the acknowledgement that vaccinations are the primary tool to reduce the spread of COVID-19:

  • Previously, on August 11, 2021, the City announced that all new employees starting on or after September 1, 2021 must be vaccinated as a condition of their employment and established additional masking requirements for current employees who remained unvaccinated after this date.
  • Additionally, on August 16, 2021, the Board of Health for the City of Philadelphia issued an Emergency Regulation Governing the Control and Prevention of COVID-19 Mandating Vaccines for Healthcare Workers and In Higher Education, Healthcare, and Related Settings.
  • Most recently, the City announced that all exempt and non-represented civil service City employees must be fully vaccinated or have been granted an exemption from the vaccination requirement by December 1, 2021.

The City’s vaccination mandate will apply to all union represented City employees, regardless of location of work, including part-time, seasonal, and temporary City employees. It will also apply to any embedded City contractor regardless of their location of work.

To further incentivize City employees to get vaccinated, all permanent City employees who have completed their full schedule of COVID-19 vaccination and provided proof of their vaccination status by December 24, 2021 will receive up to a $300 bonus. This includes City employees who have previously received their full schedule of vaccinations. This bonus does not extend to the following individuals:

  • any employee receiving an exemption to the vaccination requirements;
  • any employee working less than 20 hours per week; and,
  • City contractors covered by this policy.

City employees who fail to comply with this mandate will be considered unable to perform their duties, will be informed they may no longer report for work, and will be carried on unpaid status for no longer than 15 working days. At the end of that period, if they have not started their schedule of vaccination, they will be separated from employment.

While employees may not simply opt out of vaccination, the City’s policy does provide for religious or medical exemptions. Employees granted an exemption from the vaccination requirements will be required to follow additional safety protocols, including routine testing. The full policy can be found online.