Can employers require employees to get vaccinated?
Microsoft Corp. said it will require employees to show proof of COVID-19 vaccinations before they can enter any company facility in the U.S. beginning next month and won’t fully reopen work sites until Oct. 4 at the earliest, becoming the latest employer to update its policies in the wake of a resurgence in coronavirus cases cause by the delta variant.
“We continue to review the situation on a local basis in each region/country/state where we work and will adjust dates and policies as needed,” a Microsoft spokesperson said Tuesday in a statement. The Wall Street Journal earlier reported the company’s plans.
Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc. are among the technology companies that recently announced employees must be vaccinated to return to U.S. offices. Google also pushed back its planned reopenings to Oct. 18 from September. Apple Inc. also delayed its return-to-office plans to October, at the earliest, after previously saying corporate workers should be back at least three days a week by early September.
Walmart Inc., the largest private employer in the U.S., is requiring its headquarters and regional staff to be vaccinated by Oct. 4. The Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer also has told its frontline store and warehouse associates to don masks again, and doubled the cash incentive for employees to get vaccinated to US$150.