The city of Baltimore will offer $1,000 bonuses to employees who are vaccinated.
“This incentive is about doing everything in our power to protect our employees and our residents,” Mayor Brandon Scott said in his announcement. “We are still in a pandemic. People are still losing their lives and getting seriously ill because they are not vaccinated.”
Offering a vaccine incentive is about doing everything in our power to protect our workforce and residents. I thank all employees who have already uploaded their vaccination status and encourage those who have not to get the vaccine now. Read more: https://t.co/N45ZvoaWIa pic.twitter.com/bNb5mwsTNg
— Brandon M. Scott (@MayorBMScott) December 7, 2021
To qualify, an employee must be fully vaccinated by Jan. 14. Already vaccinated workers are also eligible for the incentive payments, which are funded through the American Rescue Plan Act.
The ARPA was passed by Congress in March of 2021 to provide “additional relief to address the continued impact of COVID-19 (i.e., coronavirus disease 2019) on the economy, public health, state and local governments, individuals, and businesses.”
“To encourage a safe working environment, many states and local municipalities have COVID-19 vaccine incentive programs to increase vaccination coverage,” the city noted in its official statement. “On July 29, 2021, the White House put forth the directive to state, local and territorial governments to incentivize vaccination, including offering $500.00 – $1,000.00 to anyone who gets vaccinated.”
Baltimore mandated the city’s 13,000 employees to get vaccinated by Oct. 18. Those who do not have to undergo weekly COVID-19 tests.
According to The Hill, “the city has received pushback over its mandate from the local Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), which has told its officers not to disclose their COVID-19 vaccination status.”
As of Dec. 7, “nearly three-quarters (73.7%) of the city’s workforce is vaccinated, according to city estimates. So far, 9,238 employees are fully vaccinated, though 3,303 have yet to disclose their vaccination status,” per CBS Baltimore.
If employees do not submit proof of vaccination and also refused to comply with the weekly testing requirement, they can be disciplined or terminated.
Several private companies have already offered incentive pay to employees who get the COVID-19 vaccine. Tyson Food offered frontline workers an extra $200, pending negotiations with the union. Financial-assets management company Vangaurd said any of its 16,500 employees in the United States would get $1,000 for getting the vaccine. Walmart offered its store employees and warehouse workers $150 for getting fully vaccinated, a several-million-dollar expenses for the nationwide retailer.