One hundred and thirteen Los Angeles firefighters have been suspended without pay for failing to comply with the city’s coronavirus vaccine mandate for employees.

ABC7 reports:

The policy requires municipal employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 by Dec. 18, and those who are not vaccinated in the meantime must submit to testing paid by the employee. In November, the department sent 222 notices to department personnel who had not yet submitted their vaccination status or requested an exemption. […] As of Monday, 83% of the department’s 3,732 employees have been vaccinated, and 321 unvaccinated personnel have filed for an exemption.

The suspensions come after local media recently reported that 77 employees in the city have been placed on unpaid leave for bucking its coronavirus vaccine mandate, and an additional 700 staff members could follow.

“The good news is, overwhelmingly city employees have gotten vaccinated … and I want to be clear the vaccine mandate is not about getting rid of employees. My goal is to keep every employee and to keep every employee safe,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) said of the move at the time.

“It may cost us some money up front but it has cost us a lot of money to lose people to COVID when they’re out. That has cost us arguably even more,” the mayor added.

Garcetti previously warned that city employees who defy the rules “should be prepared to lose their job.”

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