Corporate America is getting serious about vaccines.
In the last week, companies from Disney to Walmart to Google have begun mandating their employees get shots to protect against Covid-19. Even famed restaurateur Danny Meyer said it’s not just his employees who must be vaccinated: He won’t serve customers in his restaurants without proof they’ve gotten the vaccine.
Momentum for vaccine mandates has been building, and President Joe Biden on Thursday announced a requirement that all federal employees and on-site contractors be vaccinated or submit to regular testing and mitigation requirements.
Throughout the week, a growing number of employers announced their own vaccine mandates: On Wednesday, Google and Facebook became the first two Silicon Valley giants to issue mandates of their own. Walmart and Disney joined the fray on Friday.
In the Triangle, more companies are joining the vaccination required list. See this story:
Cisco, SAS, ChannelAdvisor require vaccinations for in-office work
Here are the companies that have announced Covid-19 vaccine requirements for at least some of their employees:
Google CEO Sundar Pichai sent an email to staff Wednesday announcing a vaccine requirement for employees who are coming back to the office. The policy would roll out in the United States in the coming weeks and in other regions in the following months as vaccines become more widely available, Pichai said. It’s not clear how Google plans to enforce the policy.
All Facebook employees must get vaccinated before coming back to the office, the company announced Wednesday. “As our offices reopen, we will be requiring anyone coming to work at any of our US campuses to be vaccinated,” Lori Goler, Facebook’s VP of people, said in a statement. “We will have a process for those who cannot be vaccinated for medical or other reasons and will be evaluating our approach in other regions as the situation evolves,” she added.
Netflix is requiring Covid-19 vaccines for the casts of all its US productions, as well as the people who come in contact with them, according to Deadline. Last week, Hollywood unions and major studios hammered out return-to-work protocols that include “the option to implement mandatory vaccination policies for casts and crew in Zone A” on a production-by-production basis. “Zone A” consists of actors and the people who come in close proximity to them.
Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, said all its US-based corporate employees must be vaccinated by October 4, according to a Friday memo from Doug McMillon, the company’s president and CEO.
This mandate does not apply to Walmart’s store employees, but it will soon implement a new process to verify their vaccine status, and is offering employees the chance to get vaccinated while on the clock (along with up to three days paid leave for any reaction to the shot). The company is also doubling its current vaccine incentive to $150; current employees who get vaccinated and new employees who were vaccinated before they started at Walmart are all eligible to receive the bonus.
Disney is requiring all its salaried and non-union hourly employees in the US to be vaccinated. Workers who are working on-site but are not yet vaccinated must get their shots within the next 60 days, according to a statement from the company to CNN Business. Employees who are still working from home must provide the company with proof of their vaccination before returning to work. The company also said it has started discussing vaccine mandates with the unions representing its workers. The company is also mandating that all new hires be fully vaccinated before beginning their jobs.
BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, is currently allowing only vaccinated employees to return to the office, a spokesperson for the company said. This decision is a policy adjustment based on employee feedback and an employee survey, the spokesperson said. Starting in September the company will have a “hybrid model,” with some vaccinated employees working from the office and others from home, the spokesperson added. The company is planning to share an updated policy for unvaccinated employees later in the summer.
Morgan Stanley’s New York office is banning all unvaccinated staff and clients from entering its headquarters. All employees who work in buildings with a “large employee presence” were required to confirm their vaccination status by July 1, according to a company memo to employees.
Saks Fifth Avenue
Luxury department store chain Saks Fifth Avenue is requiring that all employees be vaccinated, The New York Times reported. “We need to be much more office-based,” and “the default needs to be our office,” CEO Marc Metrick told the Times.
The Washington Post
All new hires and current employees of the Washington Post will be required to demonstrate proof of full Covid-19 vaccinations, the company’s publisher and CEO Fred Ryan said in a memo to employees Tuesday. Ryan stated that the requirement is a “condition of employment” beginning with the publication’s return to the office on September 13.
Union Square Hospitality Group
At Union Square Hospitality Group, which operates restaurants and event businesses in New York and other US cities, all employees and customers must be able to prove they’re vaccinated — a rule that will go into effect September 7. CEO Meyer told CNN’s Poppy Harlow Thursday that he would call it a “company policy” instead of a “mandate”.
Ascension Health announced that it will require Covid-19 vaccinations for all of its employees “for the safety of patients and visitors, our associates, our families and loved ones, and the community,” according to a Tuesday press release from the company. “Ascension will require that all associates be vaccinated against COVID-19, whether or not they provide direct patient care, and whether they work in our sites of care or remotely,” the company said in the statement.
As of August 2, all employees working in Lyft’s offices are required to be vaccinated.
In an email sent to staffers that was viewed by CNN Business, Lyft CEO Logan Green also said the majority of the company’s offices in the US will now return to the office on February 2, 2022, a six-month extension to the company’s original return-to-office date. Lyft informed team members several weeks ago that they will be required to submit proof of vaccination in order to return to the office, a spokesperson told CNN Business.
If Uber employees want to come back to the office, they must be fully vaccinated, company CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a memo to employees Thursday. Uber also pushed back its global “return to office” date to October 25, and said it will provide updates by September 30 if anything changes. Anyone coming into the office must wear a mask for the time being, regardless of their vaccination status, Khosrowshahi said.
Twitter was already requiring employees who returned to the office to show proof of vaccination, but the company on Wednesday took the additional step of closing its offices in New York and San Francisco completely and paused further office reopenings.
The company made that call “after careful consideration of the CDC’s updated guidelines, and in light of current conditions,” a spokesperson told CNN Business. “We’re continuing to closely monitor local conditions and make necessary changes that prioritize the health and safety of our Tweeps.”
Goldman Sachs employees are currently required to report their vaccine status to the company, a policy that was instituted on June 10. Failure to do so comes with specific consequences. “If you do not report your vaccine status to Goldman, your ID card will not work to enter the building,” a spokesperson for the company told CNN Business. Unvaccinated employees are required to get a rapid Covid-19 test on site at the company’s headquarters and will be tested regularly, the spokesperson added. Employees who test positive will immediately be asked to leave the building.
Jefferies is allowing only vaccinated employees into the office according to a memo that the company’s CEO and president sent to employees — provided they’re past the appropriate waiting period for full vaccine efficacy. “We require that, after Labor Day, anyone who is not fully vaccinated should continue to work from home,” the memo said.
Tyson, one of the largest food companies in the world, will mandate vaccines for its US workforce. Employees at Tyson’s US offices will need to be fully vaccinated by October 1, and all other frontline employees will be required to get fully vaccinated by November 1, subject to negotiations with unions.
The company, whose brands include Hillshire Farm and Jimmy Dean, said the move makes it the largest US food company to require vaccines for its entire workforce. Almost half of its 120,000 US employees have already been vaccinated.
Tyson is offering $200 incentives for employees once they are fully vaccinated, and it will make exceptions for workers with medical or religious accommodations.
All Equinox employees and members will be required to show proof of vaccination, the luxury fitness company announced Monday. Employees and members will be asked to share their vaccination status prior to entering all Equinox New York City clubs and corporate offices beginning in early September. “Proof of vaccination will be integrated into the system so that a member only needs to display it once,” a spokesperson for Equinox told CNN Business. The company said it plans to introduce similar policies in all of its markets and will continue to follow all current local health guidelines. For those who require medical or religious accommodations, the Equinox Group said it will work with members and employees accordingly. In a survey, the company found that 96% of members and 89% of employees reported that they have been vaccinated.
SoulCycle, a chain of cycling studios owned by Equinox, will require all of its customers to show proof of vaccination before attending a cycling class. The company consulted with infectious disease experts before making this decision, according to a press release. “There is certainly business risk that we will lose some members or riders,” Harvey Spevak, managing partner and executive chairman at Equinox Group, told CNN Business. “But we’re confident that we will continue to serve [those] who want to be with us. There will be new ones who will join or start riding with us because they want to go to a club or studio where they will be safe or well protected.”
Morgan Stanley is banning all unvaccinated staff and clients from entering its New York City headquarters. All employees who work in buildings with a “large employee presence” were required to confirm their vaccination status by July 1, according to a company memo. The bank’s CEO, James Gorman, is taking a hard line on vaccinations. “If you can go to a restaurant in New York City, you can come into the office,” he said earlier this summer. “And we want you in the office.”
The owners and operators of all 41 Broadway theaters in New York City, which are expected to reopen this fall, will require audience members, performers and staff to be vaccinated for all performances at least through the end of October. Masks will also be required for audiences inside theaters, except when they are eating or drinking in designated areas, according to a press release.
Union Square Hospitality Group
At Union Square Hospitality Group, which operates restaurants and event businesses in New York and other US cities, all employees and customers must be able to prove they’re vaccinated — a rule that will go into effect September 7. “If you really want to go unvaccinated, you can dine somewhere else,” CEO Danny Meyer told CNN’s Poppy Harlow last month. “And you can also go work somewhere else.”