UPDATE: Microsoft reverses course, will require vaccines for employees who want to return to the office
Microsoft will require vaccinations for employees and others in its U.S. buildings beginning next month, it said Tuesday.
The Redmond-based company also moved its planned opening date for U.S. offices to October 4, from the previous target date of Sept. 7.
Many large U.S. employers have moved in recent days to requiring rather than merely encouraging vaccination against COVID-19, as the more virulent delta strain of the coronavirus spreads rapidly across the nation.
Tyson, the nation’s largest meatpacker, said Tuesday that both its headquarters and plant employees must be vaccinated by Oct. 1. Last week Disney and Walmart, among others, announced that certain employees would be required to get the vaccine. Seattle-area companies have been mulling changes in their masking and vaccination policies.
In a statement, a Microsoft spokesperson said the company will have a process to accommodate employees “who have a medical condition or other protected reason, such as religion, which prevent them from getting vaccinated.”
The company also said that caregivers of people who are immunosuppressed or parents of children who are too young to receive a vaccine can continue to work from home until January, and take advantage of Microsoft’s flexible work policies.
Microsoft’s statement added that, “We continue to review the situation on a local basis in each region/country/state where we work and will adjust dates and policies as needed.”
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