I know many of my friends who work for the New Orleans Police Department have questions about the newly announced CAO Policy Memorandum No. 146 that was distributed at the end of last week. I have questions also and I will share the answers to those questions as soon as I can.
CAO Policy Memorandum No. 146 essentially says effective August 30, 2021, no city employee will be allowed to report to a city-owned worksite unless one of the following two conditions is met:
- the employee is fully vaccinated. The policy says an employee is fully vaccinated once 14 days has passed after receiving the second of a two-shot vaccine or the one-shot vaccine. Or
- the employee has taken two negative tests in the week. Tests must be four days apart. Tests must either be taken in front of a supervisor or the results are time stamped with the employee’s name. Antigen or PCR tests are acceptable.
A worksite is defined as a place where an employee is performing work on behalf of the city and can reasonably be expected to come within 6 feet of other city employees or members of the public.
That is the easy part. There are other questions that prove to be a bit more difficult. How will this be enforced? What will happen if an employee is sent home? How will the employee be carried in payroll? How does an employee register a religious objection? What if an employee has a medical objection? I am working on getting answers to those questions and I will be happy to share them with you all as soon as I can.
- Yes, a public employer can require an employee to be vaccinated;
- No, HIPAA does not apply; and
- You have a choice – but you might not like the choices.
This document was created by myself, General Counsel for the Louisiana Fraternal Order of Police. I relied on information provided by Larry James, National Fraternal Order of Police General Counsel, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the U.S. Department of Labor.