More than 90 percent of BART workers have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 ahead of Monday’s deadline, with some 300 employees remaining unvaccinated, according to data provided by the transit agency.
As of Friday, 91 percent of the agency’s board members, train drivers, station agents, police officers and other employees have proved their full vaccination status.
Another 1 percent of employees had received their first vaccine dose and were awaiting their second, while 317 employees — 8 percent of the agency’s workforce — remained unvaccinated Friday, including 37 train operators and 15 BART police officers.
Updated rates including BART employees who got a vaccine dose over the weekend were not yet available as of Monday morning, according to a spokesperson for the transit agency.
The BART Board of Directors voted 8-1 in August to require all of the agency’s nearly 4,000 employees to prove their vaccination status or provide a valid medical or religious exemption.
Board members argued the policy is necessary to keep the agency’s employees and riders protected against the virus, especially children under 5 years old who are not yet vaccine eligible.
“No one is being forced to get the vaccine, but this policy states that being vaccinated is a condition of employment,” Board Director Janice Li said during the Oct. 14 meeting.
Starting Tuesday, employees who have not proved their vaccination status or requested an exemption will be placed on paid administrative leave until a disciplinary hearing can be held, according to a BART spokesperson.
Employees who get vaccinated while waiting for their hearing will have it postponed until they complete their vaccination series and ultimately canceled once they do.
Employees will also be able to continue working if they are in between their first and second doses by Monday.
The agency had received 149 exemption requests as of Friday. Employees with an active exemption request will be allowed to continue working as normal.
Employees who do not have their request approved will subsequently have seven days to get their first vaccine dose and provide proof to the agency.
BART officials worked with the transit agency’s multiple labor unions to determine how to handle employees who refuse to get vaccinated. The agency has also hosted vaccination clinics for employees to make it easier to get a shot.
Under federal health guidelines, all BART riders and employees will still be required to wear a face covering when in a BART station or on a BART train, regardless of their vaccination status.