Verizon announced a new Covid-19 vaccination mandate on Thursday for all its non-union employees in the United States — affecting the majority of its nearly 130,000-person workforce — as employers rush to comply with a recent executive order from President Joe Biden.
Non-union personnel will have to show proof of vaccination by Dec. 8 regardless of where they work or how often they work in person, according to the statement from executive vice president Craig Silliman.
Beginning Monday they will be able to upload proof of their vaccination status or apply for religious or medical exemptions.
Contractors, vendors, visitors and new hires at Verizon facilities will have to be fully vaccinated by Jan. 1, while retail and other staff have a deadline of Feb. 1.
The mandate does not apply to “home-based” employees or those working outside the U.S.
Negotiations are ongoing regarding requirements for its 30,000-odd union employees.
A representative of the union, Communications Workers of America, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Forbes.
“There is no other way to beat the pandemic than to get the vast majority of the American people vaccinated,” Biden said earlier this month about the mandates his administration imposed. “While I didn’t race to do it right away, that’s why I’ve had to move toward requirements.”
Millions of employees for federal contractors including Verizon are required to get vaccinated against Covid-19 by early December in keeping with an executive order announced last month by the White House. The Department of Labor is also moving to issue similar guidelines stipulating companies with 100 or more employees require their workers to get vaccinated or submit to regular Covid testing — a proposition that has divided the business community. Silliman cited both policies in Thursday’s announcement. Verizon’s new mandate marks a shift in policy for the company: a vaccine-related FAQ dated April this year stated that it had “no current plans to generally require employees to be vaccinated.” Other businesses including Spirit Airlines and Boeing have announced similar plans in recent weeks to comply with the federal contractor mandate.
“Biden’s Covid-19 Vaccine Mandate Moves Closer to Approval” (Wall Street Journal)