An order that required unvaccinated Los Angeles City employees to test for COVID-19, was officially rescinded Tuesday.

The 13 Los Angeles City Council members unanimously voted to remove the COVID test ordinance for employees, with the ability for it to return should the state of COVID-19 transmission worsen in the future.

The motion was effective immediately and any city employees who accrued out-of-pocket costs for the testing, will be reimbursed.

In August 2021, the city implemented a COVID-19 vaccination requirement for all city employees, barring medical or religious exemption. Those who received a medical or religious exemption, were required to submit a negative COVID-19 test on a weekly basis in order to continue employment. The testing was meant to inquire no cost to the workers, but the city’s “last, best and final offer” instituted a consequence of employees having to take two weekly tests and paying for them out-of-pocket.

The ordinance was seen as an “effective strategy for identifying people who had been infected with COVID-19 as a means of monitoring the spread of the disease in order to prevent severe outbreaks.”

As time passed and the virus transmission slowed, the council reduced the unvaccinated city employee testing requirement to once per week, in May 2022.

Unvaccinated employees were paying for these tests up until the Los Angeles Police Protective League challenged the city’s ordinance in court, leading to a ruling that prohibited the city from charging its employees for the COVID-19 testing.

Los Angeles County had ended their COVID testing ordinance in October 2022, but allowed individual cities to decide the fate of the requirement at a local level.

Should the testing requirement return at a later time, city employees will be given advance notice before any changes occur.

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.