Society | Mar 29

Fire Chief Suspended for Harassing Unvaccinated Staff

Shiga, Mar 29 (News On Japan) - A fire chief in Shiga Prefecture has been disciplined for "vaccine harassment," after a staff member who chose not to receive the COVID-19 jab was made to work in the office hallway.

A female employee in her 30s, working for the fire department jointly established by the cities of Koka and Konan in Shiga Prefecture, was encouraged to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in 2021. She expressed her desire not to be vaccinated due to personal health concerns. Subsequently, after repeated persuasion by her superiors and continued refusal, she was relocated to work in the hallway, forbidden from using the changing room, and eventually resigned due to physical and mental distress.

The Koka Wide-Area Administrative Kumiai Fire Department Headquarters disciplined the fire chief with a three-month suspension and the deputy fire chief with a six-month suspension, citing "a lack of appropriate judgment as someone responsible for managing infection control measures." On March 15, an independent committee established by the association had identified the fire department's actions as vaccine harassment.


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