WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Palm Beach County's tax collector is telling her employees to get vaccinated or risk losing their jobs.
Anne Gannon released a statement Wednesday in which she said it is her expectation "that all employees will receive" one of the COVID-19 vaccines by June 15.
READ COMPLETE STATEMENT BELOW:
"Dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic over the past year has been difficult for everyone. The tax collector's office is a designated essential operation, and we are very proud of our continued service to the residents of Palm Beach County throughout this pandemic. Our priority has been and will continue to be the health and safety of our employees and our clients who require our in-person services. We have taken many precautions to ensure safety in all of our operations and now, with the availability of a COVID-19 vaccine, we have an opportunity to further protect our employees and clients.
We have communicated to our entire staff that our expectation is that all employees will receive one of the FDA authorized vaccines by June 15, 2021. Under guidance we obtained from the EEOC, an employee may apply for a religious or medical exemption from the vaccine requirement. In addition, we are making arrangements with the Health Care District to bring their mobile vaccination vans to our various locations to help make the vaccine process convenient.
While our intent is to avoid any staff members leaving their employment with us, we will respect the decision of employees who elect not to be vaccinated for reasons other than an approved medical or religious exemption.
No further comments will be issued at this time."
Her statement came a day after she told the Palm Beach Post that two of her employees tested positive for coronavirus within the past two weeks.
Gannon told the newspaper that every time an employee tests positive, "it costs our business money and it gives us an inability to meet our customer needs."
She said employees may be able to apply for a religious or medical exemption.
"While our intent is to avoid any staff members leaving their employment with us, we will respect the decision of employees who elect not to be vaccinated for reasons other than an approved medical or religious exemption," Gannon said.
She said her office is also making arrangements with the Health Care District of Palm Beach County to bring its mobile vaccination vans to the different tax collector locations.