“You don’t get the vaccine? Then I will fire you.”
Kenneth Langon, founder of Home Depot, a household goods and tool retailer, and director of media company Geeknet, said in an interview with CNBC on the 28th (local time) that he would make it mandatory for employees at his business to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
As the COVID-19 delta mutant virus is spreading, more and more companies are forcing their employees to vaccinate their employees after they finish working from home and prepare to commute. In some countries, the government has announced that it will make vaccination mandatory for all workers commuting to and from work. However, there are concerns that such a policy could create job insecurity for people who have not been vaccinated to protect their health or personal beliefs.
According to the Associated Press, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in an e-mail sent to employees on the 28th, “We are delaying the return to the office from September 1 to October 18. We need to get vaccinated,” he said. Google plans to apply the guidelines to offices in the United States first, and expand the guidelines for mandatory vaccination to overseas offices in 40 countries in consideration of local laws and conditions.
Other companies in the U.S., regardless of industry, have mandated that their employees be vaccinated. On the same day, Facebook announced that all U.S. employees must be vaccinated, and Twitter also asked its New York and San Francisco offices to submit vaccination certificates. Netflix, Delta Air Lines, Morgan Stanley, Ford, and The Washington Post are also compelling vaccinations for new employees or employees who have frequent contact with outsiders.
The U.S. government has issued or is considering issuing vaccination guidelines for its officials. US President Joe Biden announced on the 27th that he is considering a plan to make it mandatory for federal employees to vaccinate. Already, state governments in California, New York and North Carolina have mandated employee vaccinations.
In some countries, governments have made it compulsory for workers to be vaccinated. On the 23rd, Russian health authorities ordered their companies to exclude workers who do not provide vaccination certificates from work and not pay wages to them. Governments such as Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia and Fiji have also issued guidelines for mandatory vaccination of workers.
However, some have argued that measures that destabilize the jobs of unvaccinated people by means of dismissal or exclusion from work are discriminatory. For this reason, the Montana state legislature passed a law in April that would prohibit employers from requiring employees to vaccinate their employees as a condition of maintaining employment. “People who refuse to be vaccinated for reasons of personal beliefs or religious reasons can object to dismissal for refusal of a vaccine,” British lawyer Sined Kelly told the BBC. The UK government makes it compulsory for caregivers to be vaccinated.
U.S. government agencies have given an authoritative interpretation that there is no legal problem with corporate vaccinations for public health. The Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), a U.S. government agency that specializes in investigating and prosecuting employment-related matters, said on the 28th that companies can require their employees to vaccinate, except for those who cannot be vaccinated for health or religious reasons said there is Last month, a Texas court also dismissed a lawsuit filed by Houston Methodist Hospital staff that it was illegal to require hospitals to vaccinate their employees. Houston Methodist Hospital fired 153 employees last month for refusing to be vaccinated.
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