By Weston Blasi
With the recent rise of the Delta variant, many major American companies are now requiring full-time employees to get vaccinated before returning to the office.
In the past few weeks, more employers announced plans to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for workers who report to in-person offices. Cases for the novel coronavirus continue to rise due to the highly transmissible Delta variant, which now makes up more than half of all new COVID-19 cases in the U.S.
The government-run U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has stated it is legal under federal law for companies to require their workers to get the COVID-19 vaccine , with a few exceptions related to other health complications, pregnancy and religious beliefs.
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Some employees who have filed lawsuits against their employers over vaccine rules have been unsuccessful. These are “not very strong legal arguments,” Allison Hoffman, a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania, recently claimed . Some employees, like one sheriff in North Carolina, were terminated for refusing to comply with an employer’s vaccine policy, and were terminated. The lawsuit is pending in federal court, according to ABC .
Companies like Facebook, Twitter and Google are forcing pay cuts on some employees who chose to work remotely .
Here is a list of U.S. companies that are mandating at least some of their workforce get vaccinated against COVID-19:
“We did not come to these decisions lightly, and we understand it may take some time to process, which is why we are providing you with time to prepare,” Amtrak CEO Bill Flynn wrote to employees.
Apple /zigman2/quotes/202934861/composite AAPL -0.53% Inc. has stopped short of mandating vaccines at its offices, but has asked employees to disclose their vaccination status to the company.
Reporting vaccine status is being done voluntarily at this time, but is being encouraged for both at-home and in-person employees.
“As Apple’s COVID-19 response continues to evolve, our primary focus remains keeping our team members, their friends and families, and our entire community healthy,” Apple said in a September memo.
BlackRock Inc. /zigman2/quotes/207946232/composite BLK +1.24% will only allow vaccinated workers to come into their U.S. offices during the company’s “re-acclimation period” in July and August, a company spokesperson told MarketWatch.
BlackRock changed its vaccine policy after employees said they would feel better if their colleagues in the office were vaccinated, according to a Bloomberg report .
Capital One Financial Corp. has delayed its office reopening, but says when they do return to the office, employees have to be fully vaccinated.
“Unfortunately, we have watched the Delta variant tear a hole through the steady course of improvement in COVID-19 outcomes that we had been experiencing,” Capital One /zigman2/quotes/204480509/composite COF +1.30% Chief Executive Officer Richard Fairbank wrote in an email to employees.
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Employees at the company’s offices in New York, Chicago, Boston, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia “will be expected to return at least two days a week and vaccination is required” starting Sept. 13.
The Walt Disney Corporation /zigman2/quotes/203410047/composite DIS -1.12% says it will mandate vaccinations for all “ salaried and non-union hourly employees ” based in the U.S. who are working on site.
“Vaccines are the best tool we all have to help control this global pandemic and protect our employees,” Disney said in a statement.
Beginning Sept. 7, all U.S. workers and clients at Goldman Sachs /zigman2/quotes/209237603/composite GS +1.65% must be vaccinated in order to enter U.S. offices. Unvaccinated employees may work from home, according to a company memo .
Workers must also complete mandatory weekly COVID-19 testing, regardless of vaccination status. In addition to the vaccine mandate, people in common areas like hallways, gyms and cafeterias must wear masks.
Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google /zigman2/quotes/205453964/composite GOOG -2.91% /zigman2/quotes/202490156/composite GOOGL -3.04% , sent a note to employees last week that the company will be extending its work-from-home policy to Oct. 18.
In addition, all workers who are planning to go back to Google offices in October must be vaccinated.
Hanesbrands Inc. /zigman2/quotes/200637580/composite HBI -0.30% said Wednesday that it will require all U.S. office employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Oct. 15.
“Our top priority throughout the pandemic has been — and will continue to be — the health and safety of our associates,” said Chief Executive Steve Bratspies. “We believe that vaccination is the best way for our associates to protect themselves, their families and their communities against the virus.”
“We require that, after Labor Day, anyone who is not fully vaccinated should continue to work from home,” company executives Rich Handler and Brian Friedman wrote.