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Reflecting on the past two months
Our heart goes out to those who lost their jobs on October 18th from this push to vaccinate the population. Some of you had worked for certain organizations for two or three decades. The emails you forwarded us from your employers showed callousness and disregard for your dedication and years of service. No retirement parties, no good-byes.
The Washington Civil Rights Council and March for Freedom WA have been working since mid-August, just two months, to educate as many Washingtonians as we can reach about law and their individual rights. In that time our materials have been used by tens of thousands, our videos have been viewed by 100 K people and we have presented in front of thousands. We are also corresponding by email with hundreds of individuals every week. Together we ARE making a big difference. Our WCRC materials are meant to educate and empower but it is YOUR personal interactions with HR, with management, and co-workers that has really ignited the push-back in WA state. Although certain employers were unyielding others did respond to your message and our materials. We estimate that thousands of jobs were saved and even more individuals were spared from forced vaccination. We commend you for standing your ground to do what is right for yourself and the bigger picture.
Learning From The First Wave of Workplace Mandates
by Victoria Palmer
We were successful in helping people keep jobs in smaller, private businesses and clinics and even large hospitals (outside of the UW Medical system) were willing to grant accommodations. Most teachers and school employees we corresponded with kept their jobs, although many face burdensome accommodations.
Some employees faced a wall of resistance. Like a foregone conclusion before it began. Why did our valid civil rights arguments fall on deaf ears? Employers would only respond with comments like “we’re on firm legal ground.”
The state of Washington provided a template for state agencies and private employers to use in religious exemption requests. We saw very few differences in the forms required by employers in different fields and parts of the state. Based on what some of you have shared, we believe the state of Washington may also have provided legal service and advice to employers to help them restrict exemptions, Let us know if you have any more information on who this team of lawyers might be.
The unprecedented mass firing of workers for no reason other than being unvaccinated does appear to be history in the making. Employers, following the advice of these lawyers, have come up with a new category of people called “unvaccinated” which is not a protected class under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or by Washington State law. As silly as that sounds, I have seen it in writing by more than one lawyer. We may see ourselves as protected due to religion or disability but they work hard to ‘invalidate’ our exemptions because then they can argue that they are discriminating against us ONLY because we are unvaccinated, and that that is acceptable. They are creating a period of time in which discrimination and abuse of a class of persons can occur before they get their day in court. Certainly there will be justice at some point but damage will be done.
The week before the 18th, Inslee said he was ready to terminate 5,000 state employees. Headlines now show that only “hundreds” of workers were terminated from state and local agencies. While they want us to believe this was due to employees giving in to the vaccine, the news showed a final number of 92.4% of state workers being “vaccinated or accommodated” so this includes those who will continue employment unvaccinated while giving the impression that the “mandates were successful” at forcing workers to vaccinate.
The next wave of deadlines includes Federal Employees and Federal Contractors such as Hanford and Boeing. Don’t let your employer place responsibility on Biden. Although the mandate puts forth a December 8th deadline for current federal contractors, it does not provide any specific guidance to employers for outcomes for those that are not vaccinated by that date.
Going forward, while we will continue to focus on civil rights and help employees through the exemption process, we will also bring increased focus on safety concerns. With the death of Seattle resident Jessica Berg Wilson in September, acknowledged by the Department of Health as the result of COVID-19 vaccination, safety concerns can no longer be ignored. We would like to see employees start advocating that their workplace do its own due diligence into the actual number of severe adverse side effects from the vaccines, before mandate deadlines are imposed or enforced.
Volunteer With Us
The time to take action is now. There are opportunities to contribute in different ways. We need help of all types: administrative, technical, legal, promotion, advocates (to help others in person, phone, or email), event planning and event support.
Meeting Sunday (10/24) at 7:00 pm in Redmond. RSVP for address.
If you are interested in volunteering but cannot join us at the meeting in person or live further away, please respond to this email with ideas on how you would like to help. We can help you find a group near you or start your own. Groups can help advocate for neighbors and organize sign waving or social gatherings in their community.
March For Freedom Monday
Thanks to a great group of 100+ people that joined us at Seattle City Hall on 10/18. We had an open mike for people to share face-to-face with others in the community and we made lots of noise as we marched on 5th Avenue to Westlake Mall and back on 4th. We march to spread the spirit of freedom to those that see us, and believe us, Seattle felt it! We made it onto the evening news, both KIRO 7 and Q13.
Thanks to Katie Daviscourt for posting on Twitter:
Job Boards for the Unvaccinated
Those that lost their jobs recently or this week have some choices to make. One of the choices will be whether to take legal action against your former employer in the coming months, another choice will be about future employment. WCRC is working posthaste to line up legal support for your wrongful terminations and when it comes to future employment, we thought that some of the web resources below might be of help to you. We also encourage you to find and tap into your local freedom-focused community. If you know of other great ‘patriot’ career resources, please let us know.
King County Vax Verify Starts 10/25
Many of us live in King County and have had concerns about the upcoming “Vaccine Verification” program expecting restaurants, gyms and other venues to check vaccination status of customers. Well, the good news is that enforcement is voluntary. Quote from the last page of the Local Health Order:
“As the Local Health Officer, I strongly recommend and urge all people and businesses in King County to voluntarily comply with this ORDER and its anti-discrimination requirements.” Dr. Jeff Duchin
Based on our outreach efforts in Seattle neighborhoods like Queen Anne, Greenwood and White Center the vibe on the street is that businesses are not eager to enforce this at all. While 1 out of 10 businesses we visited were all for enforcing, the rest were split in half – they were either happy to realize that enforcement is voluntary or they were somewhat relieved but still apprehensive about penalties if they did not comply. We would encourage you to carry a printout of this King County document with you so you too can educate businesses in King County. Let’s remember that “Contact Tracing” at restaurants failed miserably. Can we do the same for this?
For more information or to make a complaint, visit the official website: King County is Vaccine Verified
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