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With city vaccine exemptions pending approval, councilwoman proposes alternatives to firing

(Hawaii News Now)
Published: Sep. 23, 2021 at 9:06 PM HST|Updated: Sep. 23, 2021 at 10:56 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - City Councilwoman Andria Tupola says hundreds of essential city workers are still waiting to hear if their vaccine exemptions will be approved.

She said she is fighting to prevent more jobs from being lost among workers whose religious and medical exemptions are still pending.

So far, Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi said no requests have been rejected, but many workers still fear they will be denied.

Tupola has introduced a resolution calling for alternatives to firing and is asking city officials to be clearer about the exemption policies.

“We have teleworking, we have paid leave, we have maybe we suspend for awhile, so we can help you with the paperwork to help resolve your concerns,” she said.

“So I think there are a lot of different options even before you say the word termination.”

Meanwhile, the mayor’s office said his intention is to create a safe workplace not to fire workers.

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