A city in Southern California has ordered vaccinated government employees to wear stickers if they want to work without masks on, said city officials.
Montclair, California, city manager Edward Starr told the San Bernardino Sun that workers who haven’t been vaccinated or don’t provide proof or verification of their vaccination against COVID-19 will be required to wear masks.
The California Department of Public Health is recommending stickers placed on employee badges “to demonstrate they have been fully vaccinated,” Starr said.
Starr added that if the city doesn’t comply with state or federal regulations, which he didn’t elaborate on, fines as much as $10,000 per day could be issued.
“We intend to avoid those violations,” he said.
Jon Hamilton, Montclair director of administrative services and human resources, told KLTA-5 that there’s no mandate around the program, adding that it’s voluntary. Employees who don’t wish to wear a mask have to keep a vaccination card with them, he said.
“The program is 100 percent voluntary, so if anybody has concerns about their own medical confidentiality and they do not wish to participate, there’s no mandate … they continue to wear their mask and operate under all safety protocols required right now during COVID-19,” Hamilton said on July 26.
The mayor of Montclair, California, John Dutrey, and other officials told local media that the requirement falls in line with the state’s Department of Public Health and Occupational Safety and Health Administration orders.
The move drew pushback from city Councilman Ben Lopez, who said the stickers violate employees’ privacy rights.
“This policy is being rushed through and rammed down the throats of our employees with no legal counsel being sought and no discussion from our city council,” Lopez told the paper. “I think we are on shaky legal ground.”
Meanwhile, a Riverside County spokeswoman, Brooke Federico, told the Sun that the county doesn’t have plans to use stickers or employee badges.
COVID-19 is the illness caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.
The requirement comes as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs on July 26 became the first federal agency to require its doctors and other medical staff to get COVID-19 vaccines.
“It’s the best way to keep Veterans safe, especially as the Delta variant spreads across the country,” the head of the agency said in a press release. “Whenever a Veteran or VA employee sets foot in a VA facility, they deserve to know that we have done everything in our power to protect them from COVID-19. With this mandate, we can once again make—and keep—that fundamental promise.”
The Epoch Times has reached out to the city of Montclair for comment.