Aug 26, 2021 (Baystreet.ca via COMTEX) -- Delta Air Lines /zigman2/quotes/200327741/composite DAL +0.42% has become the first major U.S. company to levy a penalty to encourage workers to get vaccinated.
Atlanta-based Delta says it will impose a $200 U.S. monthly surcharge on the health premiums of employees who aren't vaccinated against COVID-19. The new policy was outlined to staff in a memo from Chief Executive Officer Ed Bastian, who said 75% of the carrier's workers are already vaccinated.
The penalty applies to employees in the airline's healthcare plan who haven't received shots by November 1 of this year. The company also will require weekly testing for employees who aren't vaccinated by mid-September.
Delta stopped short of a mandatory vaccine requirement like the one imposed earlier this month by United Airlines and other American companies. Goldman Sachs /zigman2/quotes/209237603/composite GS -0.04% , Alphabet Inc.'s Google /zigman2/quotes/202490156/composite GOOGL -0.59% and Facebook /zigman2/quotes/205064656/composite FB +0.55% have each announced employee vaccine requirements.
Delta is confident that its approach will succeed in moving its worker vaccination rate above 75%. The airline says its penalty is "well within legal parameters." In May, Delta Air Lines became the first major U.S. carrier to require coronavirus vaccines for all new employees.
Vaccine requirements in the U.S. are increasing now that Pfizer /zigman2/quotes/202877789/composite PFE +2.06% and BioNTech's /zigman2/quotes/214419716/composite BNTX +2.91% COVID-19 vaccine has received full approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
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