Google may fire employees who don’t follow its COVID-19 vaccination rules unless granted a special exemption. According to a CNBC report, which cites an internal memo, the company had given employees until December 3rd to declare their vaccination status. Employees who have taken the vaccine needed to upload documentation showing proof. Those not vaccinated could apply for a medical or religious exemption. Google would approve exemptions on a case-by-case basis, the leaked memo revealed.
Following that deadline, Google would contact employees who were denied exemption as well as those who haven’t declared their vaccination status. They would have until January 18th to comply with the company’s vaccination rules. Failing to do so will put the employee on “paid administrative leave” for 30 days.
If the employee still doesn’t comply, Google will put them on “unpaid personal leave” for up to six months. Such will be able to keep their benefits for the first 92 days. But if they are unvaccinated even after six months, their employment with Google will end, according to the new report.
Google doesn’t believe frequent testing is a valid alternative to vaccination
Google has been urging employees to take the vaccine for several months now. And it isn’t the only company to mandate COVID-19 vaccination. The likes of Facebook and Netflix also have similar requirements for employees coming to their respective work sites. President Joe Biden has passed an executive order that mandates vaccination for employees of all US companies with a workforce of more than 100 personnel. While that executive order is facing challenges and a federal court has issued a stay on it, Google seems to have continued with its policy.
“We expect that almost all roles at Google in the US will fall within the scope of the executive order. Anyone entering a Google building must be fully vaccinated or have an approved accommodation that allows them to work or come onsite,” the leaked memo read. The company says “frequent testing is not a valid alternative to vaccination.”
Following the outbreak of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, Google has delayed its plans to reopen offices. It will now let employees continue working from home for the foreseeable future. But despite that, the company is getting aggressive towards those who don’t follow its vaccination rules.
Meanwhile, it will let employees find roles that don’t require coming to the office or don’t conflict with the executive order. In that case, they can refuse to take the vaccination and “permanently work remotely going forward.”