CCC board orders mandatory vaccination for employees


The Commonwealth Casino Commission board has authorized CCC executive director Andrew Yeom to require all their employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide proof of vaccination.

CCC chair Edward C. Deleon Guerrero signed the order last Wednesday shortly after their board meeting.

The board concurred that Gov. Ralph DLG Torres’ mandatory policy adopted for the Executive Branch employees is sound and should apply to the CCC as well.

The commission has 41 full-time employees, including its legal counsel, assistant attorney general Michael Ernest.

Torres has made it mandatory for all employees of the Executive Branch to receive be vaccinated, citing the need to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus and to facilitate a healthy and safe work environment. In his directive last Feb. 18, Torres said this policy applies also to semi-autonomous agencies and entities, but not to other branches of government and autonomous agencies and entities.

The governor, however, encouraged other branches of government and autonomous agencies and entities, including the Commonwealth Ports Authority and the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. to respond, likewise, to the present situation.

Deleon Guerrero said that, as an autonomous agency exempt from the governor’s directive, CCC has considered the basis for and scope of the directive, and concurs with the policy.

He said it is the policy of CCC that no employee shall pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others in the workplace.

Deleon Guerrero ordered Yeom to take steps to ensure that all CCC employees either complete the COVID-19 vaccination program or obtain an approved exemption accommodation, and directed Yeom to report to the board the percentage of employees who have completed the vaccination program.

The chairman ordered Yeom to require employees who complete the vaccination program to provide him (Yeom) written documentation provided by the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp., or other medical provider authorized to administer the vaccine that verifies their receipt of the required doses of the vaccination.

He said failure to provide this documentation may be grounds for adverse personnel action.

Deleon Guerrero said Yeom shall grant a request by an employee for a medical exemption accommodation where the employee provides information from the health care provider that the he/she has a condition that makes it unsafe to receive any or all of the COVID-19 vaccines.

He said the executive director shall grant a request by an employee for a religious exemption accommodation where the employee demonstrates he/she cannot receive the vaccination due to a sincerely held religious belief or practice.

Deleon Guerrero said if no reasonable accommodation is possible, Yeom may exclude the employee from the workplace. He said exclusion may ultimately result in the termination of the employee’s employment.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at
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