Anyone who works for one of the big Silicon Valley media companies should expect to have to get the COVID-19 jab as a condition for returning to the office, although some wiggle room exists.
Big corporations, in general, are following Joe Biden’s lead, or vice versa, inasmuch as Biden is reportedly expected to announce a vaccine mandate for all federal government employees.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai has notified its 130,000 or so employees — who have been working remotely for about a year and a half — via email that they will likely need to become vaccinated by October 18. This is the date that the search giant apparently has designated for most of them to return to its Mountain View, Calif., headquarters and other U.S. locations, as its global voluntary work-from-home policy comes to an end.
Eventually, the vaccine mandate will go into implementation at its overseas office facilities.
In a blog post, Pichai wrote, in part, that “[A]nyone coming to work on our campuses will need to be vaccinated. The implementation will vary according to local conditions and regulations, and will not apply until vaccines are widely available in your area. You’ll get guidance from your local leads about how this will affect you, and we’ll also share more details on an exceptions process for those who cannot be vaccinated for medical or other protected reasons.”
Social network Facebook is also incrementally imposing a similar policy for its workforce, as confirmed by Lori Goler, its VP “of people.”
“As our offices reopen, we will be requiring anyone coming to work at any of our U.S. campuses to be vaccinated. How we implement this policy will depend on local conditions and regulations. We will have a process for those who cannot be vaccinated for medical or other reasons and will be evaluating our approach in other regions as the situation evolves. We continue to work with experts to ensure our return to office plans prioritize everyone’s health and safety.”
“Around half of the social media platform’s 58,000 employees are expected to be working remotely when the offices open in October,” the Daily Mail noted.
Mandatory inoculation requirements, as concerns over the spiking Delta variant gain currency, are perhaps less than surprising since Big Tech generally frowns upon content that questions the pro-vax narrative in terms of safety or efficacy.
COVID-19 vaccines have yet to obtain FDA approval and have gone into distribution, via President Donald Trump’s Operation Warp Speed, on an emergency authorization.
Streaming platform and content studio Netflix, with its main office also located in the Silicon Valley area, is implementing a vaccine rule for U.S. productions, with some limited exceptions. The policy reportedly applies to so-called Zone A, for actors and those around them on set.
“The new return-to-work protocols agreed upon by the Hollywood unions and major studios last week give producers ‘the option to implement mandatory vaccination policies for casts and crew in Zone A on a production-by-production basis,'” Deadline reported. ‘[T]he streamer aims to keep exceptions very rare, limited to medical, religious or age reasons and possibly in a few cases for series and films that are already in production.”
As alluded to above, corporate America is generally is on board with the COVID-19 vaccine, with big financial firms, for instance, such as Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo requiring the shot for employees, while other some companies in various sectors are either also requiring it or providing a monetary incentive for same.
The Google and Facebook decisions could influence other on-the-fence, big employers to follow suit.
After recently reopening its New York City and San Francisco offices, Twitter announced that it is shutting them down again. “After careful consideration of the CDC’s updated guidelines, and in light of current conditions, Twitter has made the decision to close our opened offices in New York and San Francisco as well as pause future reopenings, effective immediately,” Twitter said in a statement.
Along with other tech companies do, Twitter already allows its employees to work at home on a permanent basis.
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