Twelve probationary Connecticut state employees have been terminated over a failure to comply with the governor's COVID-19 vaccine and testing requirements, according to Gov. Ned Lamont.
"We reached out to them more than once and you get vaccinated or you get tested, and if you say no, you can't work here. It's unsafe," Lamont said.
Of the 12 fired employees, a spokesperson for the governor's office said, "They were terminated as they are recent hires from the last couple of months who were still in their probationary period and not in compliance with the executive order."
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State officials said Thursday that 78.% of executive branch employees are fully vaccinated and just 671 employees, or 2.2%, remained non-compliant. The remainder opted for weekly testing.
On Friday, Lamont said that as the deadline approached, more state employees were coming forward saying they are getting vaccinated or complying with the testing protocol. More than 98 percent are able to serve the people of Connecticut, he said.
When asked when the state would move forward and put employees who are not probationary on unpaid leave, Lamont said less than a week.
The governor's office previously said most of the non-compliant employees intended to meet requirements but the submission of the information is incomplete.
The deadline to meet the requirements was Monday and those who chose to remain non-compliant could face being put on unpaid leave as of today.
The executive order Gov. Ned Lamont issued requires all Connecticut state employees, child care staff and staff of PreK-12 schools statewide to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and for people who are exempt to be tested on a weekly basis. The mandate only applies to employees in the executive branch, not in the judicial or legislative.
The state Department of Education noted on Thursday that many of the staff included in their count are substitutes or temporary employees who are not currently in a building, and that they are working with employees who are non-compliant but intend to meet the requirements to complete their submissions.
A spokesperson for the department said they do not anticipate day-to-operations to be impacted.
Editor's note (Oct. 8, 5:38 p.m.): An earlier version of this article stated the 12 employees were put on unpaid leave, but according to the governor's office because they were still in a probationary period, they were terminated.