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Disney, Google and other U.S. companies requiring workers to get vaccinated before returning to the office

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With the recent rise of the Delta variant, many major American companies are now requiring full-time employees to get vaccinated before returning to the office.

In the past few weeks, more companies have announced plans to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for employees who are working at in-person offices. Cases for the novel coronavirus continue to rise due to the highly transmissible Delta variant, which now makes up more than half of all new COVID-19 cases in the U.S.

The government-run U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has stated it is legal under federal law for companies to require their workers to get the COVID-19 vaccine, with a few exceptions related to other health complications, pregnancy and religious beliefs.

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Some employees who have filed lawsuits against their employers over vaccine rules have been unsuccessful. These are “not very strong legal arguments,” Allison Hoffman, a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania, recently claimed. Some employees, like one sheriff in North Carolina, were terminated for refusing to comply with an employer’s vaccine policy, and were terminated. The lawsuit is pending in federal court, according to ABC.

Here is a list of U.S. companies that are mandating at least some of their workforce get vaccinated against COVID-19:

BlackRock

Beginning next month, BlackRock Inc.
BLK,
+0.70%

will only allow vaccinated employees to work in their offices.

BlackRock changed its vaccine policy after employees said they would feel better if their colleagues in the office were vaccinated, according to a Bloomberg report.

Disney

The Walt Disney Corporation
DIS,
-0.27%

says it will mandate vaccinations for all “salaried and non-union hourly employees” based in the U.S. who are working on site.

“Vaccines are the best tool we all have to help control this global pandemic and protect our employees,” Disney said in a statement.

Facebook

“As our offices reopen, we will be requiring anyone coming to work at any of our U.S. campuses to be vaccinated,” Facebook’s
FB,
-1.22%

People VP Lori Goler said.

Also see: Costco, Kroger, Target, Walmart and Apple change mask policies, as CDC warns about rise in delta variant

Google

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google
GOOG,
+0.57%

GOOGL,
+0.10%
,
sent a note to employees last week that the company will be extending its work-from-home policy to Oct. 18.

In addition, all workers who are planning to go back to Google offices in October must be vaccinated.

Jefferies

Jefferies
JEF,
+1.30%

 Financial Group will soon only allow vaccinated employees in their offices, according to a memo from the company.

“We require that, after Labor Day, anyone who is not fully vaccinated should continue to work from home,” company executives Rich Handler and Brian Friedman wrote.

Lyft

The ride sharing company has postponed its return to office plans from September to February 2022. Lyft
LYFT,
+1.23%

CEO Logan Green says it will require employees to provide proof of vaccination upon re-entering the company’s offices.

Similar to Uber, Lyft’s vaccine mandate does not apply to Lyft drivers. Both ride-sharing companies have offered discounted or free rides to vaccination sites in parts of the U.S.

Morgan Stanley

Investment bank and financial services company Morgan Stanley
MS,
+0.26%

is also making vaccines a requirement for in-person employees, but with a slight adjustment.

The company will also not allow any clients who have not been vaccinated to enter its headquarters in New York City.

Netflix

According to Deadline, Netflix
NFLX,
-0.47%

will soon require vaccinations for people working in “Zone A,” which consists of actors and in-person production staff. It’s unclear if Netflix’s corporate offices will also follow this reported vaccine mandate.

Netflix did not immediately respond to MarketWatch’s request to comment on this story.

Saks Fifth Avenue

Luxury department store chain Saks Fifth Avenue is requiring all in-person staff get vaccinated, according to a report from the New York Times
NYT,
-0.73%
.

“We need to be much more office-based,” CEO Marc Metrick told the Times.

The Washington Post

Employees at The Washington Post will soon be required to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination as a “condition of employment,” according to Publisher Fred Ryan.

The company is planning on reopening all offices three days a week on Sept. 13. Contractors and guests entering the offices will also be required to show proof of vaccination.

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Twitter

Twitter
TWTR,
-0.89%

closed both its San Francisco and New York offices in July as COVID-19 cases in those areas began to spike.

The social media giant previously said it would allow employees to work remotely on a permanent basis if they want, and require proof of vaccination for employees returning to the office.

Uber

Uber
UBER,
+0.07%

CEO Dara Khosrowshahi wrote to employees on Thursday saying the company will require workers going back to its offices on Oct. 25 to be fully vaccinated.

It’s worth noting that this ruling impacts workers at Uber’s offices but not those who drive for Uber. Uber still has regulations in place that mandate masks for all of their drivers.

Walmart

The world’s largest retailer said that all of its U.S.-based corporate employees must be vaccinated by Oct. 4, according to a memo sent out from Walmart’s
WMT,
-0.23%

president and CEO Doug McMillon.

The move impacts corporate employees and not front line workers.

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