On August 18, 2021, the Los Angeles City Council approved a Motion instructing various City offices to develop a policy by September 3, 2021, that would require all City contractors to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and report their vaccination status “as a condition of employment.” The ordinance is now awaiting the Mayor’s signature. The Council’s push comes on the heels of the City’s recent announcement that all City employees will be required to either provide proof of vaccination or undergo weekly testing as of October 1, 2021. The expansion to contractors would reach a significantly larger group of individuals with a much broader impact on the private sector given the City’s standing as one of the largest municipal contracting bodies in the nation.
The Motion was presented by six councilmembers (Mark Ridley-Thomas, Nithya Raman, Monica Rodriquez, Paul Krekorian, Paul Koretz and Bob Blumenfield) and seconded by a seventh, Councilmember Curren Price, Jr.
Separately, the City Council also adopted an ordinance providing a framework for enforcement of—and exceptions to—the City’s vaccine requirement for employees. Relevant to City contractors, the ordinance extends these rules to future City contracts and the employees of City contractors, providing as follows:
Effective October 20, 2021, any new contract executed by the City shall include a clause requiring employees of the contractor and/or persons working on their behalf who interact with City employees, are assigned to work on City property for the provision of services, and/or come into contact with the public during the course of work on behalf of the City to be fully vaccinated.
Proposed L.A.A.C. § 4.701(c)(4).
As drafted, only new contracts would be directly affected, and only those contractor employees who “interact with City employees, are assigned to work on City property for the provision of services, and/or come into contact with the public during the course of work on behalf of the City.” The ordinance does not further specify what it means to “interact” with City employees and, in turn, whether this clause applies to physical interaction, although the context of the proposed language suggests that would be the case. Further, the ordinance does not appear to offer employees of City contractors any medical or religious exemptions to vaccination requirements.
Manatt will continue to monitor these ordinances as they develop and are considered by the City Council, as well as other relevant COVID-19-related laws and regulations, and will provide updates as appropriate.