Google, Facebook: Employees To Be Vaccinated Upon Return To Office

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Big tech companies Google –Alphabet Inc Class A (NASDAQ:GOOGL)– and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) said that their employees around the world are obliged to get vaccinated against COVID-19 to return to office.

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Delayed comeback

In the case of Google, the return of its more than 130,000 employees is expected to take place in October.

According to BBC, Google CEO Sundar Pichai explained in an email to all employees that the implementation “will vary according to local conditions and regulations” and that it will not be imposed until vaccines are widely available.

Initially, Google employees had been mandated to return in September, but Pichai has pushed it back to October 18, given the surge in coronavirus cases due to the Delta variant.

The announcement follows President Joe Biden’s order on two million federal employees to show proof of vaccination to return to work, “or be subject to mandatory testing and mask-wearing.”

Facebook also said that it would “require” U.S. employees returning to offices to be vaccinated.

Lori Goler, Facebook vice president, 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.” She said the company's return-to-office plans would “prioritize everyone's health and safety.”

Careful planning

Among all big tech firms, Google and Facebook are the first ones to request vaccination proof from their employees.

A voluntary return to office for thousands of Google workers in the U.S. started in early July, as the company monitors the situation ahead of fall 2021.

In early May, the tech giant had announced that, once the pandemic is over, 80% of the workforce will have to return to physical jobs, while the remaining 20% ​​will be able to permanently work remotely.

Those coming back to their desks will have to work from the Google premises during part of the week, while they will be able to choose from where they want to work the remaining days.

Google and Facebook are part of the Entrepreneur Index, which tracks 60 of the largest publicly traded companies managed by their founders or their founders’ families.