Galvin requiring vaccination among employees

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Secretary William Galvin said some of the issues he intends to look at will be whether to shorten the timeline for mail-in voting in future elections, and whether it should be used in municipal elections, or made a local option. (Sam Doran/SHNS)

BOSTON (SHNS) – Secretary of State William Galvin is requiring the staff under his office’s jurisdiction to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 “as a condition of continuing employment unless an accommodation or exemption is approved.”

Galvin communicated his vaccine policy to his workforce Tuesday afternoon, and a spokesperson said it applies to all employees of his office, including those in registries of deeds that the secretary oversees. Galvin is giving workers two weeks — until Oct. 12 — to demonstrate they have received a first dose and is requiring full vaccination by Nov. 19.

Employees unable to be vaccinated because of a medical disability or who are unwilling to get the shots because of a sincerely held religious belief also have until Oct. 12 to apply for an exemption. Under Galvin’s policy, those who are approved for an exemption or accommodation will need to wear a mask at all times and take a weekly COVID-19 test outside of their work hours.

“Employees who do not comply with the vaccination policy will be subject to discipline, up to and including discharge,” the policy says. “Employees with an approved exemption or accommodation who do not comply with the conditional safety requirements described above (weekly testing and mask requirements) will be subject to discipline, up to and including discharge.”

Workers in Galvin’s offices are also required to be masked in hallways, bathrooms and common areas and when working with a member of the public. Among constitutional officers, Galvin joins Gov. Charlie Baker and Attorney General Maura Healey in mandating staff vaccinations.

Treasurer Deborah Goldberg and Auditor Suzanne Bump each announced policies that require workers to show proof of vaccination or undergo weekly testing. In late August, Galvin’s office said the “vast majority” of his staff had been fully vaccinated.

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