Employees of Grossmont and Cuyamaca College Not Receiving Reasonable Accommodations for Vaccine Exemption

Written by William Hale

Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District employees face a COVID-19 vaccination deadline of Jan. 31. Those who have received exemptions have not been given accommodations yet, despite their willingness to oblige.

Accommodations are alternative options to receiving the vaccine, which the district is legally required to provide. The district allowed its employees, for a while, to refuse the vaccine and still work, provided they wear masks, socially distance, and get tested regularly. Those who declined to take the vaccine were not even allowed to make coffee or use water fountains, according to Patty Sparks, the Administrative Assistant for the GCCCD. 

Patty Sparks says she had contracted the virus over the winter break and now has natural immunity, which provides better protection against COVID-19 than vaccination does.

Sparks said she was denied accommodations because the district said she was too high risk while working in an office with four other people, despite her being one of the safest people to be around, thanks to her natural immunity. In a letter sent to Sparks the district said, “If you decline the accommodation offered and choose not to be vaccinated, the District will initiate termination proceedings. Please notify the District of your decision by January 28, 2022.”

Unfortunately, the district is deciding to take a stricter route regarding vaccination now than when the virus was in its worse stages. It is unclear why they do not understand that this virus will not disappear and that people will still need to work.

Additionally, many students are being denied an education because of the lack of accommodations. It is curious that the district would be so harsh on students considering that without them, they wouldn’t have a job.

Photo Cred: GCCCD