Hennepin County: Get Vaccinated or ‘You Will be Terminated’


Timothy Chmielewski, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Deputies Association Union President, announced a COVID vaccine mandate for his union’s employees on an internal email with a subject line that read, “You will be terminated.”

John Gilmore posted a screenshot of the email on Twitter, which was from Chmielewski. It is unclear if the mandate applies only to those within the sheriff’s office or if it is a county-wide requirement.

When The Minnesota Sun sought additional information from Chmielewski regarding the mandates and his email, he replied that he was not the person to talk to.

Carolyn Marinan, a spokesperson for Hennepin County, told The Sun that approximately 88% of their workforce has been vaccinated and that they are requiring employees to be vaccinated by the April deadline. According to data from Marinan, the COVID vaccination rate has increased by 3% since they shared the requirement with employees in November.

Marinan did not explain if there would be an exemption process for Hennepin County employees, and shared that while a booster shot is not currently required, it is encouraged.

Hennepin County is still offering incentives to the public to be vaccinated against COVID, giving $50 Visa gift cards to those who receive a “first, second, or booster dose at Hennepin County vaccine events or clinics.”

Those who visit county facilities are required to wear face masks and it would appear as if that requirement also applies to staff and employees.

The email from Chmielewski states that employees who are not vaccinated “will be terminated” on April 8.

“You will be terminated. There is no progression,” the email reads. According to Chmielewski, any employees who go on vacation and are unvaccinated will be terminated as well upon the deadline, unless they provide the county proof of vaccination.

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Hayley Feland is a reporter with The Minnesota Sun and The Wisconsin Daily Star | Star News Network. Follow Hayley on Twitter or like her Facebook page. Send news tips to [email protected].




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