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Massachusetts House Members Given Deadline To Get Back To Work In State House

BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts House is inching closer to a full reopening of the State House, which has been largely closed to visitors, state lawmakers and their staff since the start of the pandemic, with most working remotely.

On Dec. 13, the Massachusetts House plans to move to the second phase of its reopening, with employees being required to be available to work in person at the State House as a condition of their employment, according to a memo from House leaders released Monday.

To be considered eligible to work in the building, employees must either show that they have been vaccinated; request and receive a reasonable accommodation due to a qualifying disability or medical condition; or request and receive a reasonable accommodation due to a sincerely held religious belief.

During the winter, House leaders hope to welcome larger numbers of lawmakers and employees to work out of the building on a permanent basis — with the ultimate goal of once again opening the building to the general public.

Employees who fail to get vaccinated or receive a medical or religious exemption will face a range of actions — from up to five days of unpaid leave if they are in violation of the policy on Dec. 13, to up to an additional 10 days of unpaid leave, indefinite unpaid leave or other disciplinary actions if they remain in violation of the policy.

(© Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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