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Milwaukee mayor orders vaccinations for city employees

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee’s mayor has ordered mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for city employees. Mayor Tom Barrett made the announcement Tuesday afternoon. The requirement applies to general city employees as well as temporary employees and interns.

“We have an obligation to provide a safe workplace for all employees, and a vaccinated workforce is part of that,” Barrett, a Democrat, said in a news release.

The mandate will go into effect Sept. 1. Unvaccinated employees will receive up to two hours of paid leave to get vaccinated and will have until Oct. 29 to produce proof of vaccination. Workers who won’t comply will face 30-day unpaid suspensions. Workers who continue to refuse to get the shots will be fired. The city will provide exemptions from the shots based on medical or religious reasons.

The mandate doesn’t apply to unionized city workers. The mayor’s office says the city is negotiating with the unions on how the requirement will apply to members.

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