Grossmont and Cuyamaca College employees not receiving reasonable vaccine exemption accommodations

EL CAJON (KUSI) – Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District employees have been facing a COVID-19 vaccination deadline of Jan. 31, and those who have received exemptions have yet to be given accommodations, despite being willing and able to oblige.

Grossmont Cuyamaca Community College District employees have been facing a COVID-19 vaccination deadline of Jan. 31, and despite most employees who requested being given religious and medical exemptions, they have yet to be given accommodations, despite being willing and able to oblige.

Teresa Sardina was live in El Cajon at the district’s office with more details.

Patty Sparks, Administrative Assistant at Grossmont College, and Clifton Quinn, the college’s Department Chair of Computer Science, joined KUSI’s Teresa Sardina to discuss their experience not receiving accommodations for a vaccine exemption.

Both Sparks and Quinn described continuing to work from remotely and not yet being given the reasonable accommodations to work on-campus without meeting the approaching vaccine deadline.

The Grossmont Cuyamaca Community College District’s letter to Sparks:

Dear Patty:As discussed in our meeting, information from the meeting was provided to your President.  After review and discussion, the following determination has been made:·Remote work is not a reasonable accommodation and is DENIED based on the nature of your specific position and job duties.·An accommodation to work on-site unvaccinated is DENIED because the risk of transmission is too high based on your specific position, location and job duties.  Specific duties include front desk location; greeting visitors; attendance at in person meetings; assisting with mail delivery and first point of contact for employees submitting forms.·An accommodation to use accrued vacation and/or personal necessity leave, or unpaid leave, through June 30, 2022 is GRANTED. You may use leave to absent yourself from work while the District has a vaccination requirement and you remain unvaccinated.  Please notify the District if you will elect to use specified leave. In reaching its decision, your specific position, location and job duties; whether you work alone, in a group or your work involves frequent interaction with others; whether you have close contact with co-workers, students or others; the number of employees who are seeking similar accommodations and the cumulative burden on the District; the risk of spreading the coronavirus; ensuring that employees remain healthy and able to provide services to students; ensuring that students remain healthy; avoiding an outbreak on campus which could lead to a shutdown depriving students from attending in-person instruction were considered. If you prefer, you may still be vaccinated instead of relying on the above accommodation. If you decide to vaccinate, please contact me so that I can work with you and your supervisor on the details and dates of your vaccination appointments.If you decline the accommodation offered and choose not to be vaccinated, the District will initiate termination proceedings. Please notify the District of your decision by January 28, 2022.

The Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District issued this statement below:

“The health and safety of our campus community is our top priority. Our students, parents and employees want to feel safe, and we take seriously our responsibility to protect them, including young children at our Child Development Centers. Our campuses overwhelmingly support a COVID-19 vaccine requirement, and we are pleased that more than 90 percent of our permanent employees are fully vaccinated.    

Our District offers medical and religious exemptions, and we have approved 99% of exemption requests. We carefully review each employee’s work situation to determine if they can still safely work. In some cases, exempted employees are working remotely, or onsite while maintaining distance, wearing a mask, and getting tested.    

We look forward to continuing to work together to maintain the health and safety of our community.”

Categories: Coronavirus, Good Evening San Diego, KUSI, Local San Diego News