U.S. largest employer Walmart orders employees to vaccinate business and economic news

The retailer stated that the authorization covers all campus employees as well as market, regional and departmental employees.

Wal-Mart, the largest private employer in the United States, requires its headquarters and regional employees to be vaccinated by October 4th, and is working with Google to develop a policy that may set standards for US companies as the highly contagious delta variant continues to spread .

CEO Doug McMillon said in a memo on Friday that the authorization covers all campus employees as well as market, regional and departmental employees working in multiple facilities. A spokesperson could not immediately state how many of the retailer’s 1.5 million U.S. employees would be affected. On Friday, Walmart separately told its frontline store and warehouse employees to wear masks again, and doubled its cash reward for vaccinating employees to $150.

Macmillan said in the memo: “The pandemic is not over, and delta mutations have led to an increase in infection rates in most parts of the United States.” “We have decided to require all campus office employees and all market, regional, and departmental employees working in multiple facilities. Get vaccinated before October 4th, unless they get approved exceptions.”

Wal-Mart will be closely watched by other business leaders, who are struggling to deal with the myriad challenges of getting white-collar workers back to the office safely, while also taking care of their front-line employees in stores, factories and distribution centers. This week, Alphabet Inc.’s Google said it would require employees who return to the office to be vaccinated, while Apple Inc. has postponed the return to the office to October and began to urge store employees to wear masks again.

Within minutes of Walmart’s announcement, rival grocer Kroger said it would even encourage vaccinated employees and customers to wear masks in stores. Retail spaces have become unintentional battlefields for broader cultural and political turmoil caused by wearing masks, and some confrontations between employees and customers have become fierce in the past year.

For large employers, it will be difficult to extend the task of vaccines from office workers to frontline employees. At Albertsons Cos., CEO Vivek Sankaran said this week that the vaccination rate for store employees is close to the national average. This is about 60%.

Small employer

But it’s not just corporate giants taking action: David Levine, chief operating officer, said that Berlin Rosen, a 230-person public relations consultant, has implemented measures for all employees who want to enter its three offices. Requirements for vaccines.

The Wal-Mart CEO stated that due to medical or religious reasons, “a small percentage” of employees could not be vaccinated. The spokesperson stated that they “must comply with all social distancing standards, wear masks at work, and undergo weekly Covid-19 tests” Provided by Walmart. “

If Wal-Mart employees apply for medical or religious exemptions but are not approved, they will be suspended for a period of time to receive vaccinations. If employees still refuse to be vaccinated, they will be fired.

The company’s employees at the Bentonville, Arkansas campus — which is undergoing a comprehensive construction overhaul that will not be completed until 2025 — have gradually returned to the office with the goal of returning to pre-pandemic staffing levels after Labor Day. , And now Macmillan says he may need to adjust this timing.

The company said that Wal-Mart’s new mission will apply to all new employees in the affected locations. Management also restricts business travel to mission-critical travel, which may weaken the recovery of air travel if other large companies follow their policies.

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