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- When COVID-19 first made its appearance, many companies were moved to create pandemic leave for those who came down with the coronavirus.
- Now that the Food and Drug Administration has an authorized vaccine against COVID-19, this is changing the face of what companies are willing to do for its employees who choose not to get vaccinated.
- Many new hires these days are required to show proof of vaccination to complete the hiring process.
The new policy will take effect in early October for the non-vaxxers, however, American Airlines employees who have been vaccinated are still covered by the pandemic leave policy and do not have to use their own sick days to take time off from work to get well.
This appears to be a trend among airlines, as Alaska Airlines has also prevented unvaxxed employees from using a special COVID-19 pay for missing work due to the virus.
Not only that, Alaska Airlines is also rewarding its employees with a $200 bonus for getting vaccinated, and all new employees going forward must show proof of vaccination before officially being hired. The airline is also requiring all non-vaccinated employees to participate in a vaccine education program.
Las month, United Airlines was the first US carrier to require vaccinations for all its domestic employees. United has 67,000 employees in the US and all new hires have had to show proof of vaccination since June of 2021. In the United company offices, unvaxxed employees must wear face masks.
Frontier Airlines will also require employees to be fully vaccinated by October 1 of this year. Those workers who opt not to get vaccinated will be required to participate in regular COVID-19 testing.
Other airlines are trying to get their employees to get vaccinated like Alaska Airlines has done by offering incentives such as extra pay or paid time off.
What is sparking these changes?
When the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved Pfizer as a vaccine, this opened the gates for companies to change their policies for COVID-19, as this was often the reason used by employees who do not want to get vaccinated – that no vaccine had officially been approved.
Airlines still do require all onboard to wear masks for the duration of the flight, except when eating or drinking, of course.