Unvaccinated People Will Be Fired From Here, Starting April 2
This company is standing by its requirements following a Supreme Court ruling.
Many businesses started announcing vaccine mandates last year as the Delta variant surged in the U.S. over the summer and into the fall. But even with these requirements, the country is still struggling under COVID's weight—now thanks to the Omicron variant. In just two months, this iteration of the virus is already estimated to account for more than 99 percent of new cases in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But the country has still only managed to get 63 percent of its population fully vaccinated, prompting more vaccine mandates to pop up for 2022. And now, some companies are getting ready to terminate employees who aren't complying.
T-Mobile has plans to fire corporate employees who are not fully vaccinated in the coming months, Reuters recently reported. According to the news outlet, an internal company memo posted on the The T-MO Report, an unofficial blog that reports on the company, indicates that these workers have until April 2 to get their shots.
"As the Omicron surge peaks and subsides across the country, we're looking ahead to what's next and how we continue to keep our T-Mobile community—ourselves, our families, and our customers—safe," the memo reads. "Data clearly and consistently shows that vaccines offer our best chance at preventing illness, serious illness, and death from COVID-19."
But some repercussions will come sooner than April. "Employees who have not yet taken action to receive their first dose and upload proof by Feb. 21 will be placed on unpaid leave," the memo states. Then those who are still not fully vaccinated by the April deadline "will be separated from T-Mobile."
According to The T-MO Report, the memo has been addressed to "all employees," except for field technicians and most in-store retail roles. "We are requiring office workers (with limited exception for certain roles, locations and legally mandated accommodations and exemptions) to be fully vaccinated by April 2," T-Mobile said in a statement to Reuters, adding that "badge-controlled offices continue to be accessible only to those who are vaccinated against COVID-19."
The T-Mobile memo appears to have been sent to employees on Jan. 28, following the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on Jan. 13 that blocked President Joe Biden from enacting a sweeping order that required large businesses to implement vaccination mandates. But T-Mobile is not the only company that has chosen to still require proof of vaccination from its employees, despite it no longer being a government requisite.
According to USA Today, businesses such as Citigroup, United Airlines, and Carhartt have all chosen to continue on with their vaccine mandates. Citigroup required all U.S. employees to be vaccinated by Jan. 14 before facing termination by the end of the month, while United Airlines has required its workforce to be fully vaccinated since Sept. 27.
And then one day after the court's ruling, Carhartt CEO Mark Valade sent a letter to employees on Jan. 14, notifying them that the company's vaccine mandate would remain in place. Carhartt announced in 2021 that it was issuing a requirement for employees to be vaccinated by Jan. 4 or face termination, The Washington Post reported. But some of the company's locations have been given extensions for the deadline, allowing employees until Feb. 15 to get immunized.
"We put workplace safety at the top of our priority list and the Supreme Court's recent ruling doesn't impact that core value," Valade said in an email, per USA Today. "While we appreciate that there may be differing views, workplace safety is an area where we and the union that represents our associates cannot compromise."