Delta Air Lines to require all new hires to be vaccinated against COVID-19
CEO Bastian expects to have Delta staff fully vaccinated at a 75%-to-80% rate in the near future
The new policy will go into effect on Monday, May 16
Employees who do not get vaccinated could face restrictions, such as not being able to work on international flights
Delta Air Lines’ CEO Ed Bastian announced this week that 60% of the airline’s staff have received at least one shot of COVID-19 vaccine, and he expects to have employees fully vaccinated at a 75%-to-80% rate in the near future.
Delta Air Lines has said that it will need new employees to have already gotten their coronavirus shots, though there will not be a mandate for current workers as they have made “great progress” towards herd immunity.
CEO Bastian acknowledged that it would be unfair to force current employees to get vaccinated if they have “some kind of philosophical issue” with it, but that courtesy does not extend to new hires.
“This is an important move to protect Delta’s people and customers, ensuring the airline can safely operate as demand returns and as it accelerates through recovery and into the future,” Delta Air Lines announced in a statement today. The new policy will go into effect on Monday, May 16.
Delta’s spokesperson said the current vaccination rate within the company represents “great progress to achieve herd immunity within our workforce.”
The employees who do not get vaccinated could face restrictions, such as not being able to work on international flights.
Delta Air Lines, which has 75,000 employees, is taking things a step further than other major corporations, as most, such as Amazon and Target, have simply tried incentivizing employees to get vaccinated, either by giving them a chance to get the shots during work hours or offering bonuses for new hires.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced in December that companies can require employees to get vaccinated, with the two exemptions being disabilities or religious reasons.
American Airlines has also offered employees an extra day off next year to employees who get their vaccinations.
New guidance from the CDC still requires masks when using transportation such as airplanes, despite the mandate being lifted for fully vaccinated individuals, indoors and outdoors, unless required by a business.