Google has threatened to fire employees who don't follow COVID vaccination rules

Many companies are struggling to navigate this era of hybrid work environments where some employees are required to work from the office on some days and work from home on others. For example, Google has once again delayed the return of its workforce to physical offices, something that was previously planned for January 10, 2022. According to a new report, the company has now issued a memo indicating that employees who don't follow vaccination rules will eventually be fired.

A Google logo with a syringe nib pointing to the letter o in the center

CNBC reports that Google leadership had recently circulated a memo which emphasized that employees should submit their proof of vaccination or apply for medical or religious exemption by December 3. The document also stated that after the aforementioned date, it will start reaching out to employees individually. If the vaccination status of these employees is not updated by January 18, 2022, they will be put on "paid administrative leave" for a period of 30 days, followed by up to six months of unpaid leave, and eventually, termination.

All of the above is being done to ensure compliance of U.S. President Joe Biden's vaccine mandate, which is being strongly contested in courts and faces opposition from some Google employees too. The memo noted that:

We expect that almost all roles at Google in the US will fall within the scope of the executive order. Anyone entering a Google building must be fully vaccinated or have an approved accommodation that allows them to work or come onsite, frequent testing is not a valid alternative to vaccination.

In a statement to The Verge, a Google spokesperson confirmed the existence of the memo, saying that:

As we’ve stated before, our vaccination requirements are one of the most important ways we can keep our workforce safe and keep our services running. We’re committed to doing everything possible to help our employees who can get vaccinated do so, and firmly stand behind our vaccination policy.

Google employees are being asked to review the executive order for the vaccine mandate and take action accordingly if they fall under its scope. An employee forced to take unpaid leaves for six months will be able to retain company benefits for the first 92 days only.

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