BY MAIRE O’NEILL
The Los Alamos Reporter has learned that some 185 employees have separated from Triad National Security, LLC at Los Alamos National Laboratory as a result of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate implemented by the Lab for all employees. There are another 153 employees currently in leave without pay or vacation status with a religious exemption that may return to work at LANL when it is safe to do so. Medical exemptions were granted to 26 employees.
The numbers were part of an all-hands presentation Thursday by LANL Director Thom Mason. Mason told employees that around 99 percent of Triad employees will be fully vaccinated and that impacts of the mandate are manageable and not a significant deviation from historical attrition. Mason said his ultimate responsibility is “to make sure the people of the Laboratory are safe”.
“That is why we determined that masks, social distance and vaccination were needed for an ALARA (as low as reasonably achievable) work environment,” he added.
Triad will be communicating with employees on vacation/leave without pay about important dates and the criteria for returning to work.
The Reporter reached out to LANL late Thursday afternoon for a statement.
“The health and safety of our workforce remains our priority and is also vital to ensure our national security mission. Triad is grateful that nearly all employees – about 99 percent – have now taken the most important step to prevent the spread of COVID-19: getting vaccinated,” a Lab spokesperson responded by email. “The Laboratory is well positioned to meet our mission objectives now, and in the future, and we welcome the day when the COVID-19 pandemic ends.”