Two lawmakers in Washington state want the state and local governments to bring back employees who were fired because they didn’t comply with COVID-19 pandemic vaccine mandates.
King County Council member Reagan Dunn introduced a motion that would prioritize the rehiring of county workers that were dismissed.
At the state level, Yakima Republican Rep. Chris Corry introduced a house bill that would create hiring preferences for bringing back state workers that were fired, and give those workers a chance to catch up on contributions to the state retirement plan.
“Preferential rehiring of those who were terminated," Dunn said. "The truth is governments at all levels need those employees back particularly with our emergency and first responders like our law enforcement personnel.”
Dunn said King County workers who were let go should be made whole.
“Those employees should be placed back exactly where they left in terms of their seniority, as if they were never let go," Dunn said. "I think their personal files should be removed of anything derogatory about complying with the vaccine mandate."
It’s unclear just how much support these efforts will have from Gov. Jay Inslee, who strongly backed vaccine mandates for government workers.
Dunn's legislation will be heard by the King County Council. House bill 1814 is currently in committee in Olympia. It is unclear when it could come up for a vote.