Kaiser Permanente Allows Unvaccinated Employees to Return

Healthcare provider Kaiser Permanente has allowed employees previously dismissed for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine to return.

Citizen journalist Amy Reichert obtained a copy of the letter sent to former employees.

The letter, dated May 17, 2024, describes changes in Kaiser Permanente’s “Vaccine Policy.”

“We are writing to let you know that there has been a change in the Kaiser Permanente COVID-19 Vaccination for KP Workforce Members Policy (‘Vaccine Policy’) that may impact you,” the letter says. “As you may recall, the federal government and various state and local entities required COVID-19 vaccinations for, among others, healthcare workers during the pandemic.”

Kaiser Permanente acknowledged that its former vaccine mandate required employees to “submit proof that they were fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (including any applicable boosters), or receive an approved exemption, by the specified timeline.”

“Due to changes in the federal, state and local vaccine requirements or recommendations, among other reasons, the Vaccine Policy has been revised effective February 1, 2024,” the letter states.

Vaccination against COVID-19 is “no longer required as a condition of employment.”

“While COVID-19 vaccination will not be a requirement of working at Kaiser Permanente, employees will be required to annually verify their COVID-19 vaccination status.”

“We understand that your employment may have ended at Kaiser Permanente because of your non-compliance with the Vaccine Policy,” the healthcare provider added. “Given the revision to the Vaccine Policy, we wanted to inform you that you are eligible for rehire with Kaiser Permanente for open and available positions for which you are qualified if you chose to reapply (unless you are ineligible for rehire for other reasons unrelated to the non-compliance with the COVID-19 vaccine mandate).”

The healthcare provider noted that it encouraged former employees to apply for an available position.