WVC employees affected by Washington state vaccine mandate deadline

October 20, 2021

Media Contact:
Libby Siebens, WVC community relations executive director, 509-682-6436 (Mon.-Thurs.)

As part of the Washington state employee vaccine mandate, Wenatchee Valley College employees were required to be fully vaccinated by Monday, Oct. 18. If an employee was not vaccinated, they must have received an approved religious or medical exemption, as well as a relevant accommodation.

As of Tuesday, 92% of full-time employees were fully vaccinated and 17 employees had requested religious or medical exemptions. Of those, 11 were granted temporary accommodations, and 6 were terminated or retired. These numbers do not include part-time faculty, part-time hourly, student employees, volunteers or contractors.

These numbers may change, as unvaccinated employees who reported by the Oct. 18 deadline that they wished to retain their jobs have an additional 45 days to become fully vaccinated while on leave. They may also change as accommodations requests are reviewed.

This month, it became clear that under the employee mandate and state guidance, masking and social distancing alone are not approved accommodations for employees with religious or medical exemptions. Other accommodations are required to retain an employee, such as fully remote work. However, those who cannot work remotely due to their public-facing job functions and duties may not be able to receive accommodations for their exemption. Additionally, all accommodations are temporary and must be reviewed within 60 days of being granted. If an accommodation is denied after 60 days, the employee may be terminated.

“We understand that this isn’t easy for anyone,” said WVC President Dr. Jim Richardson. “It’s a loss for the individuals affected and for everyone at the college who will feel the impacts of their departure. However, as a state agency, we fully understand our commitment to the safety and health of the community.”

This accommodation and leave guidance is specifically for employees, not for WVC students. For more information on WVC’s COVID-19 response visit wvc.edu/PublicHealth.


Wenatchee Valley College enriches North Central Washington by serving educational and cultural needs of communities and residents throughout the service area. The college is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion for all students and employees and provides high-quality transfer, liberal arts, professional/technical, basic skills and continuing education for students of diverse ethnic and economic backgrounds. Visit our website, wvc.edu.

Wenatchee Valley College is committed to a policy of equal opportunity in employment and student enrollment. All programs are free from discrimination and harassment against any person because of race, creed, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a service animal by a person with a disability, age, parental status or families with children, marital status, religion, genetic information, honorably discharged veteran or military status or any other prohibited basis per RCW 49.60.030, 040 and other federal and state laws and regulations, or participation in the complaint process. The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies and Title IX compliance for both the Wenatchee and Omak campuses:

  • To report discrimination or harassment: Title IX Coordinator, Wenatchi Hall 2322M, (509) 682-6445, title9@wvc.edu.
  • To request disability accommodations: Director of Student Access, Wenatchi Hall 2133, (509) 682-6854, TTY/TTD: dial 711, sas@wvc.edu.