Union Wins Discipline Protection in Vaccine Verification Battle


When the Governor announced a mandatory vaccine verification policy in a press release on July 26, 2021—without notifying the Union—and the State told the Union it was directing departments to start implementing new vaccine verification requirements, SEIU Local 1000 President Richard Louis Brown fought back. The Union immediately filed an Unfair Labor Practice charge with the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) asking for expedited action.  PERB granted the expedited action request and issued a Complaint charging the State of California with bad faith bargaining.

Hard fought negotiations led by President Brown netted all our represented workers important protections against unfair verification requirements: 

  • The State must immediately stop its vaccine verification program in most departments until bargaining with the Union is complete.
  • The State must ensure that every department allows religious or medical exemptions from vaccination requirements.
  • The State must immediately come to the table and negotiate with the Union over the impacts relating to the vaccination verification policy – including negotiating over the Union’s proposals to protect worker privacy rights. 
  • No employee will be disciplined for declining to disclose their vaccination status.
  • If any employee has already been disciplined for declining to disclose their vaccination status, the department must revoke it. 

The settlement agreement is available here (link).  Employees covered by the California Department of Public Health orders regarding employees in health care facilities and/or correctional settings are not covered by this settlement, but Local 1000 retains the right to meet and confer over those orders. 

The next fight will be at the table. We need all workers to support the Union’s effort to protect our rights against unlawful actions.  We continue to fight against unfair testing and vaccination requirements.

To read the agreement, click here. If you have questions about the requirements at your department, please contact the Member Resource Center (MRC) at 866.471.SEIU (7348).

To see the COVID-19 agreement, click here.