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Google Threatens to Fire Unvaccinated Employees

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Google has told its employees they will lose pay and eventually be fired if they don’t comply with the company’s COVID-19 vaccination rules.

Google has told employees they must get vaccinated against COVID-19 by January 18 or face a series of escalating consequences that will include pay deductions and the eventual loss of their jobs, according to an internal memo to staff obtained by CNBC.

Workers were told to declare their vaccination status and upload documented proof — or apply for a medical or religious exemption — by December 3. Those who don’t meet Google’s requirements by the Jan. 18 deadline will be placed on “paid administrative leave” for 30 days, the memo said.

Following that, the firm will put them on “unpaid personal leave” for up to six months, before ultimately firing them. Google declined to comment, instead pointing PCMag to a July blog post from CEO Sundar Pichai outlining the company’s vaccination policy.

Google, however, did not outright deny the policy. “As we’ve stated before, our vaccination requirements are one of the most important ways we can keep our workforce safe and keep our services running,” a spokesperson said. “We’re committed to doing everything possible to help our employees who can get vaccinated do so, and firmly stand behind our vaccination policy.”

Google’s memo comes despite a federal judge temporarily blocking US President Biden’s vaccine mandate for large businesses, which would have gone into effect January 18.

Google announced in July that employees must be fully vaccinated to return to the office. The company had planned to require employees to come back a least a few days a week but in December pushed back its planned return to the office amid a fresh surge of cases. It is, however, allowing vaccinated employees to come in.

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