Walmart, Google among companies rolling out COVID vaccine requirements for employees | LIST

ByAlexis Benveniste and Moira Ritter, CNN Business, CNNWire
Saturday, July 31, 2021
Disney joins growing list of companies requiring COVID-19 vaccine for employees
Disney is joining the growing list of companies requiring the COVID-19 vaccine for employees.

A growing list of large U.S. employers are requiring some or all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The steps come three days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed course on some masking guidelines, recommending that even vaccinated people return to wearing masks indoors in parts of the U.S.

Here are some of the companies that have announced vaccine policy changes as the country faces an uptick of coronavirus cases fueled mostly by the delta variant:


The Walt Disney Company is now joining the growing number of other American companies who are requiring a COVID-19 vaccination for non-union employees working on-site.

Disney sent a message Friday to employees who are non-union based in the United States that they must soon be fully vaccinated to come into the workplace.

Both vaccinated and unvaccinated workers who are on-site have 60 days to provide verification of vaccination.

The company is having conversations around this topic with the unions representing their employees under collective bargaining agreements.

This decision was based on the recommendations of scientists, health officials and medical professionals that vaccinations provide the best protection against COVID-19.

The CDC issued a new report with the troubling finding behind its new mask guidance as state officials grapple with their own mandates.


Walmart, the nation's largest retailer, said all its US-based corporate employees must be vaccinated by October 4, according to a Friday memo from Doug McMillon, the company's president and CEO.

The company has been gradually having workers come back to the office, and plans to be "closer to pre-pandemic levels after Labor Day." It will continue monitoring pandemic conditions before determining if that timeline needs to be altered, McMillon said in the memo.

Customers will not be required to wear masks, but they will be strongly encouraged, and facilities will post signs to remind them of the CDC's new guidelines.

In an earlier Friday memo, Walmart announced that all employees are required to wear masks inside again, regardless of vaccination status, in places with "substantial or high transmission." The new policy is effective immediately, the nation's largest retailer said Friday.

Store managers will receive local updates every Monday to determine their facility's necessary protocol. Customers will not be required to wear masks, but they will be strongly encouraged, and facilities will post signs to remind them of the CDC's new guidelines.

While Walmart is not mandating that its store employees get vaccinated, it will soon implement a new process to verify their vaccine status, and is strongly encouraging workers to get vaccinated. As part of its push for vaccination, the company is offering employees the chance to get vaccinated while on the clock and up to three days paid leave for any reaction to the shot.

Additionally, Walmart is doubling its current vaccine incentive to $150. Originally, the company was offering employees $75 to get vaccinated. Current employees who get vaccinated and new employees who were vaccinated before they started at Walmart are all eligible to receive the bonus.


Google is rolling out a policy that will eventually require all its employees to be vaccinated once its sprawling campuses are fully reopened in an attempt to fight the spreading delta variant.

Once offices are fully reopened, everyone working there will have be vaccinated. The requirement will be first imposed in the U.S.

The company is also postponing its plans to bring most of its workers back to the office until mid-October. CEO Sundar Pichai told Google's more than 130,000 worldwide employees in a Wednesday email that the company is now aiming to bring them back to its offices Oct. 18, instead of its previous target date of Sept. 1.

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Following Google's announcemnet, Facebook announced that employees must get vaccinated before coming back to the office.

"As our offices reopen, we will be requiring anyone coming to work at any of our US campuses to be vaccinated," Lori Goler, Facebook's VP of people said in a statement Wednesday. "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," she added.


Netflix is requiring COVID-19 vaccines for the casts of all its US productions, as well as the people who come in contact with them, according to Deadline. Last week, Hollywood unions and major studios hammered out return-to-work protocols that include "the option to implement mandatory vaccination policies for casts and crew in Zone A" on a production-by-production basis. "Zone A," consists of the actors and the people who come in close proximity to them.


BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager, is currently allowing only vaccinated employees to return to the office, a spokesperson for the company said. This decision is a policy adjustment based on employee feedback and an employee survey, the spokesperson said. From September the company will have a "hybrid model," with some vaccinated employees working from the office and others from home, the spokesperson added. The company is planning to share an updated policy for unvaccinated employees later in the summer.

Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley's New York office is banning all unvaccinated staff and clients from entering its headquarters. All employees who work in buildings with a "large employee presence" were required to confirm their vaccination status by July 1, according to a company memo to employees.

Saks Fifth Avenue

Luxury department store chain Saks Fifth Avenue is requiring that all employees be vaccinated, the the New York Times reported. "We need to be much more office-based," and "the default needs to be our office," CEO Marc Metrick told the Times.

The Washington Post

All new hires and current employees of the Washington Post will be required to demonstrate proof of full Covid-19 vaccinations, the company's publisher and CEO Fred Ryan said in a memo to employees Tuesday. Ryan stated that the requirement is a "condition of employment" beginning with the publication's return to the office on September 13.

Ascension Health

Ascension Health announced that it will require COVID-19 vaccinations for all of its employees "for the safety of patients and visitors, our associates, our families and loved ones, and the community," according to a Tuesday press release from the company. "Ascension will require that all associates be vaccinated against COVID-19, whether or not they provide direct patient care, and whether they work in our sites of care or remotely," the company said in the statement.


As of August 2, all employees working in Lyft's offices are required to be vaccinated, according to an email Lyft CEO Logan Green sent to staffers that was viewed by CNN Business. In addition, the majority of the company's offices in the United States will now return to the office on February 2, 2022, according to the email, a six-month extension from the company's original return-to-office date. Lyft informed team members several weeks ago that they will be required to submit proof of vaccination in order to return to the office, a spokesperson told CNN Business.


If Uber employees want to come back to the office, they must be fully vaccinated, company CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a memo to employees Thursday. Uber also pushed back its global "return to office" date to October 25, and said it will provide updates by September 30 if anything changes. Anyone coming into the office must wear a mask for the time being, regardless of their vaccination status, Khosrowshahi said.


Twitter was already requiring employees who returned to the office to show proof of vaccination, but the company on Wednesday took the additional step of closing its offices in New York and San Francisco completely and pause further office reopenings.

The company took the call "after careful consideration of the CDC's updated guidelines, and in light of current conditions," a spokesperson told CNN Business. "We're continuing to closely monitor local conditions and make necessary changes that prioritize the health and safety of our Tweeps."

Delta and United Airlines

Both airlines are requiring new employees to show proof of vaccination.

Goldman Sachs

The banking giant is requiring workers to disclose their vaccination status, but is not requiring staffers to be vaccinated.

The Walt Disney Co. is the parent company of this station.

The Associated Press and ABC Owned TV Stations contributed to this report.

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