Google will fire employees who refuse to get vaccinated for COVID-19, CNBC reported.
Workers who haven’t complied with the vaccine mandate — by either sending in proof of vaccination or qualifying for a religious or medical exemption from Google — will go on paid leave for 30 days starting Jan. 18. They had until Dec. 3 to send proof of vaccination or to apply for an exemption. Google won't accept testing as an alternative to vaccination, according to a company memo cited by CNBC.
After the 30-day leave, Google will place workers on unpaid leave for up to six months, and then fire them.
In a statement emailed to Protocol, a Google spokesperson said the company’s vaccine mandate is “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,” the statement read.
Google's vaccination policy hasn't inspired widespread controversy among its more than 150,000 employees, with some exceptions. By late November, at least 600 workers had reportedly signed a manifesto opposing the company's mandate.
Google plans to require most of its workforce to come to the office three days a week, but will allow around 20% of its employees to continue remotely long term. Even remote workers will need to get vaccinated unless their role doesn't directly or indirectly relate to a federal government contract, according to the new memo.