Protocol | Workplace

Google and Facebook will require vaccines at the office

Want to go back to the office? You'll need to get your shots first if you work at these companies.

Android with mask

Vaccine mandates are becoming more commonplace.

Photo: Bloomberg/Getty Images

Google and Facebook will both require U.S. employees to get vaccinated before coming into the office, the two tech giants revealed Wednesday.

Vaccine mandates have been growing in popularity, but it took weeks of rising COVID-19 case counts to get Facebook and Google to require the shots.

Lyft, Twitter, Adobe, Twilio, Asana, DoorDash and Pure Storage all require employees to get vaccinated before coming into their U.S. offices.

"How we implement this policy will depend on local conditions and regulations," Facebook vice president of people, Lori Goler, said in a statement. "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."

In a blog post, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said Google would launch its vaccine mandate in the U.S. in the next few weeks and roll it out elsewhere over the coming months.

Netflix is reportedly requiring actors and some crew to get vaccinated before going on the sets of its U.S. productions. Apple, Amazon and Microsoft are among the large tech companies that are not requiring vaccines.

Apple did, however, tell employees on Tuesday night that they would need to wear masks inside company facilities even if they're vaccinated.

The new rule comes amid a flurry of new government recommendations for vaccinated people to wear masks indoors, including from the Centers for Disease Control. By Wednesday, California state officials aligned themselves with that recommendation.

Google also announced Wednesday that it won't require its employees to come back to the office until Oct. 18. That puts it in line with Facebook and Apple, the latter of which told employees last week that it won't call them back in until October or later.

"We recognize that many Googlers are seeing spikes in their communities caused by the Delta variant and are concerned about returning to the office," Pichai wrote. "This extension will allow us time to ramp back into work while providing flexibility for those who need it."

Uber is still planning to transition its corporate employees to a hybrid model on Sept. 13, company spokesperson Lois Van Der Laan told Protocol on Wednesday. Neither Amazon, Microsoft nor Intel have made any announcements this week about pushing back their September reopening dates.

Google and Apple are not the only companies to push back their reopenings in light of the pandemic's resurgence. At least four others — Lyft, ServiceNow, Asana and Pure Storage — have revealed plans this month to push back their full office reopenings until next year. And a Twitter spokesperson told Protocol Wednesday that the company would close its San Francisco and New York offices temporarily and "pause future office reopenings, effective immediately."

All six companies continue to operate U.S. offices for employees who want to come in.

Pure Storage is going so far as to bar its employees from meeting with unvaccinated customers or partners, CEO Charlie Giancarlo told Protocol on Friday, noting that "the best way to keep other people safe is to be vaccinated."

If the virus stops spreading in certain regions, Pure Storage will likely drop its vaccine requirement at local offices, Giancarlo said.

"We don't check for flu vaccination status," Giancarlo said. "That's what we're looking for: Where we're no longer at the point where it's putting otherwise healthy people in the hospital."

This story is developing.

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