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Google Get Tough on Unvaccinated Workers, Comply or Goodbye

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Google has informed its employees they will lose pay and ultimately be fired if they do not comply with the company’s Covid-19 vaccination policy, according to an internal document viewed by CNBC.

As a result of Google’s directive, employees had until Dec. 3 to declare their vaccination status and upload documents to prove it. In addition, they could request a medical or religious exemption. The memo said HR would be contacting employees after that date who had not uploaded their vaccination status or who were unvaccinated. This would be in addition to those who had not received approval for exemptions.

According to the document, employees who have not complied with vaccination rules by Jan. 18 will be placed on “paid administrative leave” for 30 days. Afterwards, the company will place them on “unpaid personal leave” for up to six months, followed by termination.

An official from Google said in a statement that vaccination requirements are one of the most effective ways of keeping its workforce safe and keeping it running. He added that Google stands by its vaccination policy.

Despite the fact that many companies in the tech industry continue to delay their return-to-work plans, Google is requiring that its workers arrive at physical offices three days a week by the middle of the year. Furthermore, it is showing scant patience with those who refuse to get vaccines that have been widely available for months.

Google employees to follow Biden’s vaccine mandate

In January 2018, the Biden administration ordered U.S. companies with 100 or more employees to make sure their employees are protected against Covid-19 by providing them with comprehensive vaccinations or regular testing. The order was stayed by a federal court in early November, stopping the administration’s efforts.

Google has nevertheless asked its more than 150,000 employees to upload their vaccination status to the company’s internal systems, regardless of whether they will visit the office. The company says it also plans to follow the executive order signed by Vice President Joe Biden.

According to Google’s memo, “almost all roles at Google in the US will be affected by the executive order.” According to the company, “Anyone entering a Google building must be fully vaccinated or have an accommodation that allows them to work or come onsite.” Frequent testing is not an acceptable alternative to vaccination.

Since the middle of the year, Google and its parent company Alphabet have been staunchly supporting vaccines.

Sundar Pichai, Google’s CEO, announced in July that returning employees would be required to get vaccinated. The company planned to reopen in January. Google, however, indicated in early December that U.S. employees would not yet be asked to return to offices amid ongoing concerns about infection numbers.

Leadership encouraged employees to return to work where conditions allowed for employees to reconnect with colleagues in person and start developing muscle memory of being in the office on a more regular basis.

Some Google employees oppose vaccine mandate

Employees have not unanimously accepted the vaccine mandate. Several hundred Google workers have signed and circulated a manifesto opposing the company’s requirements, which it said would apply to all in-office and remote employees who are directly or indirectly involved with federal government contracts.

Google’s latest guidelines offer some options for people who don’t want to get vaccinated. According to the company, employees can “explore” roles at Google that do not conflict with the executive order. Applicants can also request exemptions based on their religious beliefs or medical conditions, which Google previously stated would be granted on a case-by-case basis.

In future, employees with roles outside the scope of the executive order that can also be performed outside the office will be able to “permanently work remotely.”

According to the memo, employees placed on unpaid personal leave will be able to keep their benefits for the first 92 days. If they are not in compliance after six months, “their employment with Google will end.”

Source: CNBC

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