Google will require coronavirus vaccinations for employees who return to the company’s offices. It also announced that it would move its official return-to-office date from September to mid-October, as the Delta variant sweeps through the United States, New York Times reported Wednesday.
Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, said in a Wednesday email to the company’s 130,000+ employees that the company is now aiming to have the majority of its workforce back in its offices by Oct. 18, rather than the previous target date of Sept. 1. The decision also affects tens of thousands of contractors, whom Google intends to pay as long as access to its campuses is limited.
Pichai stated that once the offices are fully reopened, everyone who works there will be vaccinated. The requirement will be implemented first at Google’s Mountain View, California headquarters and other U.S. offices before being extended to the company’s more than 40 other countries of operation.
Picahi wrote that the vaccine mandate will be adjusted to comply with the laws and regulators of each location, and that exceptions will be made for medical and other “protected” reasons.
Even before the World Health Organization declared a pandemic in March 2020, Google, Apple, and many other major tech companies advised their employees to work from home. Google has pushed back the date for fully reopening its offices for the third time.
Several other large employers in the United States have announced vaccine requirements for their employees.