There are new rules going in place for city employees who chose not to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum says city employees who don't get the shot will not qualify for hazard pay and will have to wear a mask while in any City of Tulsa building.
Mayor Bynum said city employees have until September 1st to get vaccinated or they will not be eligible for hazard pay.
Mayor Bynum said the decision comes after speaking with city department heads who were concerned about unvaccinated employees coming to work without a mask on. The mask mandate for inside city buildings expired in the spring, but now that decision is being reversed for some people.
“At this point, vaccinations are free and readily available to anyone who wants one at short notice,” Mayor Bynum said. “There is no excuse for people to not either be vaccinated or be wearing a mask in our workplaces in the City of Tulsa.”
Mayor Bynum told News On 6 that workers who choose not to get vaccinated are required to wear a mask while inside city buildings at all times. He said the current wording of the rule is that employees “should” wear a mask, but he is saying now they must wear one if unvaccinated.
Bynum said he respects a person's right to choose, due to religious or medical reasons, but if the virus hits their staff hard then they could be on the verge of having a public emergency.
“People count on us for public safety and streets repairs and water services, we have a responsibility to the citizens to stay healthy and make sure our jobs get done,” Bynum said.
Right now there is no mask mandate in Tulsa unless a specific private business chooses to require one on their property.