How Return-to-Office Policies Are Shifting With U.S. Virus Surge
(Bloomberg) -- A resurgence in Covid-19 cases has spurred U.S. employers to backtrack on return-to-office plans and institute vaccination requirements for on-site workers. Here’s what major companies have said about their latest policies:
The Redmond, Washington-based tech giant will require employees to show proof of vaccination before they enter any company facility in the U.S., starting next month. Microsoft also said it won’t fully reopen work sites until Oct. 4 at the earliest.
America’s biggest meatpacker is requiring all of its U.S. employees to get Covid-19 shots. Company leadership must be vaccinated by Sept. 24, in-office staff by Oct. 1 and all other employees by Nov. 1. There will be exemptions for medical or religious accommodations.
Tyson, based in Springdale, Arkansas, also said it will give $200 to frontline workers for vaccinations, subject to discussions with locations represented by unions.
The largest private employer in the U.S. is requiring its headquarters and regional staff to be vaccinated by Oct. 4. The mandate covers all campus employees, as well as market, regional and divisional staff who work in multiple facilities, Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon said in a July 30 memo.
The Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer also has told its frontline store and warehouse associates to don masks again, and doubled the cash incentive it’s providing for employees to get vaccinated to $150.
The world’s biggest entertainment company will require all U.S. salaried and non-union hourly employees working at its sites to be fully vaccinated. The Burbank, California-based company has begun talks with unions about a vaccine mandate for employees under collective bargaining agreements, according to an emailed statement on July 30.
The tech giant 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.
The Cupertino, California-based company is requiring masks at most of its U.S. retail stores for both customers and staff, even those that are vaccinated.
The social-media company is requiring vaccinations for workers coming to its U.S. campuses, according to a July 28 statement. The Menlo Park, California-based company said it will have a process in place for people who can’t get vaccinated for medical reasons, and will be “evaluating its approach in other regions as the situation evolves.”
Facebook also is requiring workers at its U.S. locations to wear masks, regardless of vaccination status.
The San Francisco-based ride-hailing company postponed its planned return-to-office date to Oct. 25 from September, and told employees it could be further delayed. Uber also will require employees in the office to be vaccinated and to wear a mask.
Corporate employees for the San Francisco-based company now aren’t expected to be back in the office until February. Workers who come in on a voluntary basis will be required to be vaccinated.
The social-media company shut its San Francisco and New York offices just two weeks after reopening them in July, and paused future reopenings, citing updated mask guidance from the CDC and “current conditions.”
The video-game company, based in San Mateo, California, postponed its return-to-office date to January from mid-September. Workers may come in on a voluntary basis if they’re vaccinated.
The asset manager is offering $1,000 to employees who get vaccinated by October, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The payments extend to all workers who can prove they’ve gotten the shot, even if they were inoculated before the firm made the offer. A Vanguard spokeswoman confirmed the company is providing an incentive.
The developer of Manhattan’s Hudson Yards mega-project will fire employees who haven’t had at least one vaccine shot by the end of August.
Corporate staff were required to get their first shot by June 1, and the new mandate applies to site and building staff, according to a spokesman. There are exemptions for religious or medical reasons.
The owner of Equinox gyms and SoulCycle studios will require employees and members to show proof of vaccination beginning next month. The effort will begin with New York City locations before similar policies are rolled out in all of its markets, Equinox Group said in an Aug. 2 statement.
The company will require one-time proof in the form of a physical immunization card, a photo of such a card or a digital vaccine card. Equinox said it will work to find alternative options for people who require medical or religious accommodations.
Employees who want to go into the investment bank’s offices must be fully vaccinated, CEO Rich Handler and President Brian Friedman said in a memo on the company’s website. Those who aren’t vaccinated will be required to continue to work from home after the Labor Day holiday.
New York Times
The media company’s plan to bring back workers in September was postponed indefinitely, the news outlet reported on July 30. Those who voluntarily go to the office must prove they’ve been vaccinated, the New York Times said, citing a memo to employees.
Employees are required to show proof of vaccination as a condition of employment when they return to the office, Publisher Fred Ryan said in a memo to staff. Workers with documented medical conditions and religious concerns will be exempted.
Post staff are expected to be in offices three days a week starting Sept. 13, Ryan said.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.