Big Tech giant Google will be requiring their employees to be fully vaccinated if they want to return to working on campus.
In an email to employees, Chief Executive Sundar Pichai announced that the company is extending their voluntary work from home program until October 18 — but if you want to return after that you will need to have completed the vaccine.
“First, anyone coming to work on our campuses will need to be vaccinated. We’re rolling this policy out in the U.S. in the coming weeks and will expand to other regions in the coming months. The implementation will vary according to local conditions and regulations, and will not apply until vaccines are widely available in your area,” Pichai wrote. “You’ll get guidance from your local leads about how this will affect you, and we’ll also share more details on an exceptions process for those who cannot be vaccinated for medical or other protected reasons.”
Pichai went on to explain that they are “excited that we’ve started to re-open our campuses and encourage Googlers who feel safe coming to sites that have already opened to continue doing so.”
“At the same time, we recognize that many Googlers are seeing spikes in their communities caused by the Delta variant and are concerned about returning to the office. This extension will allow us time to ramp back into work while providing flexibility for those who need it,” the email continued. “We’ll continue watching the data carefully and let you know at least 30 days in advance before transitioning into our full return to office plans.”
The chief executive noted that those with “special circumstances” will have expanded temporary work options that will allow them to apply to work from home until the end of the year.
According to the U.S. Justice Department, the vaccine requirements are perfectly legal to be considered a “condition of employment.”
US News reports that department lawyers wrote that the law in question requires individuals be informed of their “option to accept or refuse administration” of an emergency use vaccine or drug. But that requirement does not prohibit employers from mandating vaccination as “a condition of employment.”
This reasoning also applies to universities, school districts, or other entities potentially requiring vaccines, the lawyers added.
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