LOS ANGELES — The Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs (ALADS) is pushing back against a new executive order, which mandates employees provide proof of full vaccination against coronavirus.
The labor union that represents more than 7,000 Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies released a statement on Thursday saying they would challenge the directive.
ALADS response comes the day after Hilda Solis, a former Labor Secretary in the Obama administration who is currently chair of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors, announced the new mandate, Daily Wire reported.
“ALADS saw Supervisor Solis’ tweet last night notifying 110,000 county employees that they will be required to receive a COVID-19,” the union said in the statement. “Supervisor Solis’ announcement via Twitter was a prime example of the lack of professionalism we have come to expect from her office.”
— Hilda Solis (@HildaSolis) August 5, 2021
The deputy’s union took aim at Solis, claiming she failed to reach out to stakeholders before issuing the order. ALADS said its lawyers were reviewing the mandate and “is asserting its bargaining rights over her decision.”
“Our legal team is prepared to meet with the County and the Sheriff’s Department regarding Supervisor Solis’ executive order and to defend the rights of our members,” it continued.
The vaccines are still being administered for emergency use, but have not been approved by the FDA, according to an advisement from Moderna.
The Pfizer vaccine has so far been distributed under FDA emergency-use authorization it received in December. The company applied for full approval on May 7, but it has yet to be approved, National Review reported.
FDA spokesperson Abby Capobianco said the agency is working on “identifying additional resources such as personnel and technological resources from across the agency and opportunities to reprioritize other activities, in order to complete our review to help combat this pandemic surge.”
As negative stories persist, people are hesitant, particularly when untrustworthy government leaders are mandating the vaccine.
“We recognize that for some, the FDA approval of Covid-19 vaccines may bring additional confidence and encourage them to get vaccinated,” Capobianco said in a statement. “FDA staff will conduct a thorough review process, while balancing the incredible sense of urgency necessary, both of which are needed to ensure that any vaccine that is authorized or approved meets our rigorous standards for safety, effectiveness, and quality.”
Meanwhile, ALADS President James Wheeler sent a separate letter to Solis on Thursday requesting that her representatives contact him to schedule negotiation sessions.
On Thursday, Sheriff Villanueva took to social media to “encourage” the Board and the L.A. County CEO “to work collaboratively” with law enforcement unions “to encourage vaccinations.”
— Alex Villanueva (@LACoSheriff) August 5, 2021
In Wheeler’s letter to Solis, he pointed out that the deputies association and Villanueva “have been engaged in the meet and confer process over the Sheriff’s proposal that ALADS members either be vaccinated or receive negative weekly tests for COVID-19.” Wheeler asked Solis for clarification on whether her order supersedes the authority of Villanueva to negotiate a “vaccination or test” policy.
Solis said on Wednesday that the order is necessary because of “the rapid spread of the Delta variant,” adding, “as vaccinations continue at a pace slower than what is necessary to slow the spread, the need for immediate action is great.”
The directive requires county workers to provide evidence of immunization no later than October 1. There are limited exceptions for medical and religious purposes.