Employees let go after refusing to comply with Allegheny County vaccination requirement

ALLEGHENY COUNTY — As of this morning, over 94% of county employees have submitted paperwork regarding their vaccination status. These numbers will continue to increase in the coming days.

RELATED STORY >> Deadline day: Nearly 90% of Allegheny County employees have at least 1 dose of COVID-19 vaccine

The remaining percentage are either unvaccinated or are working through the accommodation and exemption request process with Human Resources.

However, those who are unvaccinated that have no accommodation or exemption requests have been “disqualified as a county employee.” Due to their disqualification, their employment with the county has been terminated.

At this time, the number of employees affected is unavailable as the notification process is ongoing.

The county released the following statement:

“This is both a personnel and legal matter. For that reason, there is only limited information that we will be providing publicly. Out of respect to the employees going through this process, we are going to continue working with and communicating directly with them on their status.”

Pittsburgh man calls it ‘direct violation of his religious freedoms’

“It’s been frustrating. It’s been angering. It’s been disheartening. It’s been sad. I’ve cried. I haven’t been able to sleep,” said Shane Chesher.

Shane Chesher says he’s experienced a whirlwind of emotions over the last 24 hours.

He dedicated more than a decade of his life to working for Allegheny County as a laborer and in the parks. His career has now come to a screeching halt.

“I just got informed through an email last night that I was terminated,” said Chesher.

Chesher filed for a religious exemption, but he says he was denied.

“They’re saying that me being unvaccinated, and my religious beliefs causes them hardship. Basically, I’m a problem to them,” he said.

Chesher believes everyone should be able to choose if they want the shot or not.

“Luckily, when I’m fighting for freedom--it’s for everyone. It’s for the people that disagree with me and the people that do agree with me,” he said.

Chesher says he’s working with his union to file a grievance and is looking at further legal action.

He claims at least 20 other employees had their religious exemptions denied.