LOS ANGELES (CNS) -- All employees in the Los Angeles Superior Court system will be required to get vaccinated against COVID-19 once federal officials give full authorization to one of the vaccines in circulation, court officials announced Thursday.
"The court has a duty to protect the people we serve,'' Presiding Judge Eric C. Taylor said.
"By ensuring a safe workplace, through mandatory vaccination, the court is protecting both its employees who provide essential public services and those who are required to come into a courthouse. Throughout the pandemic, the court has strictly followed public health and CDC guidelines to protect our workforce, justice partners and the public from COVID-19.''
The court's policy will provide exemptions on medical or religious grounds, and it will review requests for other exemptions on a case-by-case basis.
The requirement will take effect when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gives full approval to at least one of the vaccines being administered in the country. The vaccines are currently being distributed under an "emergency use" authorization.
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Court employees will be required to submit vaccine verifications through an online portal, and information will be kept confidential, officials said.
"The court's employees are considered disaster service workers under state law and are required to deliver statutorily mandated, time-sensitive and emergency services in times of local, state and national emergencies such as this global pandemic," Clerk of Court Sherri Carter said.
"People who enter our courthouses are required, and many times ordered, to come to court so it is important that the court do everything possible to protect our workforce and the public we serve."