Google may fire employees who violate vaccine policy: report

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Google is threatening to fire employees who don’t comply with the company’s strict COVID-19 vaccination rules as it pushes to reopen offices, according to a report. 

Company leadership sent out a memo saying that workers who had not uploaded proof of vaccination or applied for medical or religious exemptions by Dec. 3 would be contacted individually, CNBC reported on Tuesday.

Googlers have by Jan. 18 to comply with the vaccine rules or else face being placed on unpaid leave for 30 years, the outlet said.

If employees still haven’t complied after the paid leave, they will be placed on unpaid leave for up to six months and then be fired.

“Anyone entering a Google building must be fully vaccinated or have an approved accommodation that allows them to work or come onsite,” the company reportedly said, attributing the decision to a Biden administration executive order requiring workers at private businesses to be vaccinated. 

“We expect that almost all roles at Google in the US will fall within the scope of the executive order,” the company said, according to CNBC. “Frequent testing is not a valid alternative to vaccination.”

Needles over Google logo.
Google employees have by Jan. 18 to comply with the vaccine rules.
Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

But Google also said that employees who don’t want to get vaccinated can “explore” whether there are any jobs at Google that don’t fall under the Biden administration order. 

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report. 

The tech giant has repeatedly pushed back its return-to-office date amid concerns about coronavirus variants and currently plans to bring employees back three days per week at some point in 2022. That’s a stricter policy than some other tech companies like Twitter and LinkedIn, which have both told most employees they can work from home forever. 

Google building.
“Frequent testing is not a valid alternative to vaccination,” Google said.
Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

In an indication that the company takes in-person work seriously, Google in September said it would pay $2.1 billion for a waterfront campus in the Hudson Square neighborhood of downtown Manhattan — the largest American office deal since 2018, when Google bought Chelsea Market for $2.5 billion. 

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