COVID vaccine refusal 10th highest reason for job cuts in 2021, report says

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- While experts say we're still in the so-called "Great Resignation," a recent Jobs Cut Report uncovered vaccine refusal as the 10th highest reason for job cuts this year.

Numbers released by Chicago-based outplacement and business and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. came on on the same day President Biden announced new federal guidance and deadline for tens of millions of workers to get vaccinated.

RELATED: Most US employees must get shot or test weekly for COVID by Jan. 4

"Roughly 5,000 people that lost their jobs in the last month due to COVID vaccine refusal made up actually 22% of the total number of people that we tracked being let go across the country," the firm's Senior VP Andy Challenger told ABC7 News.

Challenger said since vaccines became widely available to adults in June, more than 6,800 workers have been cut or left their jobs because of vaccine mandates.

He anticipates numbers will grow, following the new federal deadline for two-thirds of the country's workforce announced on Thursday.

Businesses with at least 100 employees have until Jan. 4 to require workers to be fully vaccinated or face weekly testing.

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San Francisco city and county workers who haven't gotten vaccinated yet, as of November 1, could lose their jobs.



"As I'm talking to companies, as I'm talking to HR leaders, there really is a lot of turmoil within their organizations across just about every sector," he added.

But in the Bay Area, Peter Leroe-Munoz with the Silicon Valley Leadership Group says its 350-plus member companies have consistently supported vaccine mandates.

"I think that is a credit really, to the kind of forward-thinking of our region," Leroe-Munoz shared. "And it's served us well."

He said the news is important for economic recovery and for the return to pre-pandemic practices.

RELATED: Here's a breakdown of COVID-19 vaccination requirements for city employees in SF, Oakland and SJ

"It allows for things like greater working in-person collaboration, it allows for visiting different work sites, R&D sites as well," he said.

For San Francisco-based Fast, the one-click check-out platform says its 300-person team is already in-line with federal requirements.

"We've already said to our employees, 'If you want to come into the office, if you want to travel for work, if you want to meet clients, you have to be vaccinated,'" Jason Alderman with Fast said.

Living in the tech capital of the world, Alderman said it's only fitting Fast has followed the data.

"It almost feels like the rest of the country is catching up now, to what the Bay Area has been doing since the start of the pandemic," Alderman told ABC7 News. "Welcome. We're glad you're here."

Elsewhere, the Biden Administration's vaccine rules for businesses will impact more than 100 million workers around the U.S.

VACCINE TRACKER: How California is doing, when you can get a coronavirus vaccine

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