The Yelm City Council discussed a possible resolution to block recent Washington State Department of Labor and Industries guidance regarding vaccination records in the workplace at a June 1 study session.
Yelm City Councilor James Blair spoke out against the guidance, which would have employers document their workers’ vaccination records.
“As a lot of you know, last week came out with L&I putting out their latest guidance,” Blair said. “Basically, they are asking employers, which includes the city of Yelm, to document and store employee COVID-19 vaccination information and have this information available upon request.”
Blair said this would be an invasion of privacy and a disservice to the people of Yelm.
“In my opinion, this is an invasion of medical privacy and promotes discrimination in the workplace,” Blair said. “What I would like to see is that we put a resolution forward that prohibits the city from collecting or sharing that information with any entity and discouraging any other business within our city from doing the same.”
Blair said that Bonney Lake recently passed a similar resolution.
“The city should not be even voluntarily asking for this information and they definitely shouldn’t be storing it to share with L&I or any one of us,” Blair said.
Councilor Terry Kaminski said the irony in all this is that some studies show that vaccinated people are “shedding their spike proteins,” that they have become a danger to those who have not sought the vaccine.
“It’s this double edged sword,” Kaminski said. “Do you do or not do? I agree, and everybody knows I agree, we should make our own choices on this, because I don’t think any one of us is more dangerous to the other than the other. It can go both ways.”
Newly appointed councilor, Holly Smith, said she has also read the studies Kaminski referenced, noting she agrees with Blair’s general assessment of the situation.
“I have to agree that I do feel that it is a little bit (of an) invasion, that it’s really nobody’s business but our own personal choice,” Smith said.
Councilor Joe DePinto said there was enough support for the potential resolution for the council to discuss it at its upcoming city council meeting and Mayor JW Foster said it will indeed be on the agenda.