- December 18, 2021
If employees do not follow vaccination regulations, Google warns them that they will lose salary and eventually be fired.
- Google told employees in a memo circulated by leadership that they must comply with vaccine policies or they face losing pay and then losing their job.
- The document said most U.S. employees will fall under their vaccine requirements, which stem from President Biden’s executive order.
- While much of the tech industry is delaying return-to-work plans, Google is gearing up to get back into the office and is showing little patience for those who haven't been vaccinated.
Google has told its employees that if they don't comply with the company's Covid-19 immunisation policy, they will lose salary and eventually be fired.
Employees had until December 3 to disclose their vaccination status and upload proof of immunisation, or seek for a medical or religious exemption, according to a memo sent by leadership. Employees who had not uploaded their status or were unvaccinated, as well as those whose exemption requests had been denied, would be contacted after that date, according to the company.
Employees who do not comply with the immunisation guidelines by the Jan. 18 deadline will be placed on "paid administrative leave" for 30 days, according to the memo. The employer will then place them on "unpaid personal leave" for up to six months before terminating them.
"Our vaccination requirements are one of the most critical ways we can keep our staff safe and keep our services running," a Google spokesman said in a statement, adding that the company "stands behind our vaccination policy."
While much of the IT industry continues to push back return-to-work plans and companies large and small prepare for a flexible future, Google has announced that its employees would be required to come into physical offices three days a week starting in the new year. It's also displaying signs of exhaustion with individuals who refuse to take immunizations that have been publicly available for months.
By January 18, the Biden administration has ordered that all U.S. enterprises with 100 or more employees have their staff properly vaccinated or tested for Covid-19. In early November, a federal court imposed a stay on the order, effectively halting the administration's attempts.
Regardless, Google has requested its more than 150,000 employees to upload their vaccination status to its internal systems, whether or not they plan to come to work, and the business has stated that it will execute President Joe Biden's executive order.
"We expect that almost all roles at Google in the United States will fall under the scope of the executive order,” Google’s memo said. "Anyone accessing a Google facility must be properly vaccinated or have an approved accommodation that allows them to work or come onsite," according to the corporation, which also stated that "regular testing is not an acceptable alternative to vaccination."
Since the middle of the year, Google and its parent company Alphabet have been enthusiastic supporters of immunizations.
Sundar Pichai, the company's CEO, stated in July that people returning to work would need to be vaccinated. The intention was to reopen in January at the time. However, despite persistent concerns about infection counts, Google advised U.S. employees in early December that they would not be required to return to work. Employees were encouraged to come in "where conditions allow to reconnect with colleagues in person and start rebuilding the muscle memory of being in the workplace more often," according to management.
Employees have not universally accepted the vaccine obligation. Hundreds of Google employees have signed and disseminated a manifesto criticising the company's rules, which the company's leadership claims will apply to all employees, including those working from home, who work directly or indirectly on federal government contracts.
Google's most recent advisory outlines several options for those who do not wish to get vaccinated. Employees can "examine" whether there are any roles at Google that do not contradict with the executive order, according to the firm. They can also request religious or medical exemptions, which Google previously stated would be given on an individual basis.
Employees with tasks that fall outside the purview of the executive order but can be done outside the office will be permitted to "permanently work remotely going forward," according to the corporation.
Employees who are placed on unpaid personal leave will be permitted to keep their benefits for the first 92 days, the memo said. If they don't comply with the rule after six months, "their employment with Google will be terminated."