(Headline USA) Google has threatened to suspend and ultimately fire unvaccinated employees starting Jan. 18, CNBC reported after obtaining an internal company memo in which employees are told to comply with vaccination rules or be placed on a path to termination within six months.
“Our vaccination requirements are one of the most important ways we can keep our workforce safe and keep our services running,” a Google spokesman told CNBC.
The leak of the internal memo comes just three weeks after CNBC reported that hundreds of Google employees had “signed and circulated a manifesto opposing the company’s Covid vaccine mandate.”
The manifesto called on employees to “oppose the mandate as a matter of principle” and criticized “coercive” leadership of representing “the antithesis of inclusion.”
Google CEO Sundar Pichai told employees in a July 28 blog post that “anyone coming to work on our campuses will need to be vaccinated.” The justification for such authoritarian action, according to Google, was that the companys’ work with the federal government on federal contracts required employees to be vaccinated — even if they are working from home. Frequent testing is “not a valid alternative,” Google added.
The employee manifesto in response hammered the decision on myriad fronts.
In a section titled “Respect the User,” CNBC reported, the authors write that the mandate of “barring unvaccinated Googlers from the office publicly and possibly embarrassingly exposes a private choice as it would be difficult for the Googler not to reveal why they cannot return.”
“Such Googlers,” the manifesto continues, “may never feel comfortable expressing their true sentiments about a company health policy and other, unrelated sensitive topics. This results in silenced perspective and exacerbates the internal ideological ‘echo chamber’ which folks both inside and outside of Google have observed for years.”
The employee manifesto also argues that Google’s vax mandate could set a dangerous precedent that other companies could follow, cascading into a flood of forced compliance.
“It normalizes medical intervention compulsion not only for Covid-19 vaccination but for future vaccines and possibly even non-vaccine interventions by extension,” the document says. “It justifies the principle of division and unequal treatment of Googlers based on their personal beliefs and decisions. The implications are chilling. Due to its presence as an industry leader, Google’s mandate will influence companies around the world to consider these as acceptable tradeoffs.”
According to the memo obtained by CNBC, the mandate is a response to President Biden’s demand that the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) require “employers with 100 or more employees to ensure each of their workers is fully vaccinated or tests for COVID-19 on at least a weekly basis.”
The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals stayed the mandate “pending full judicial review,” and on Dec. 15 the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals indicated that a three-judge panel will hear consolidated challenges to OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard.
In response to the 5th Circuit’s stay, OSHA released a statement saying that it had “suspended activities related to the implementation and enforcement of the ETS pending future developments in the litigation.”