State workers seek exemptions to Washington vaccine mandate

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Nearly 4,800 state workers are seeking an exemption to Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. That’s about 8% of the approximately 60,000 employees subject to the requirement. In August, the governor ordered state workers, school workers and some health-care employees to be vaccinated, without a regular testing alternative as offered by some other states. Workers must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 18, or lose their jobs unless they have either a medical or religious exemption and have been granted a job accommodation. Dozens of Washington State Patrol troopers and other state and local government workers have sued Inslee, contending that the mandate violates their constitutional rights and exceeds his legal authority.