Delta Airlines CEO Ed Bastian notified thousands of employees this week that the company will begin fining unvaccinated workers $200 per month to offset higher health care premiums incurred during the COVID pandemic.
“Unvaccinated employees will face other restrictions, including indoor masking effective immediately and weekly Covid-19 tests starting Sept. 12, the Atlanta-based airline said in announcing new Covid policies for employees,” reports CNBC.
“The average hospital stay for COVID-19 has cost Delta $50,000 per person,” Bastian said in an employee memo. “This surcharge will be necessary to address the financial risk the decision to not vaccinate is creating for our company. In recent weeks since the rise of the B.1.617.2 variant, all Delta employees who have been hospitalized with COVID were not fully vaccinated.”
If employers can charge you for not taking a vaccine, can they charge you for being overweight? Where does this end?
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) August 25, 2021
Glad to see this. You want to cost your employer more by refusing an FDA approved vaccine? Okay then. Bear the consequences. (I’d rather Delta simply require it, but they clearly fear political reprisal from the GOP controlled GA legislature.) https://t.co/QpEa6EmGPB
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) August 25, 2021
“In compliance with state and local laws, COVID pay protection will only be provided to fully vaccinated individuals who are experiencing a breakthrough infection,” added the Executive.
According to Bastian, 75% of Delta’s 75,000 employees are vaccinated and the “aggressiveness of the [delta] variant means we need to get many more of our people vaccinated, and as close to 100 percent as possible.”
Some critics contend that the concept of fining employees for personal decisions could easily apply to other aspects of their private lives, including smoking, drinking, being overweight, and more.