More Than 600 Google Employees Sign Manifesto Opposing Vaccine Requirements

Hundreds of Google employees have written and shared a manifesto against the company’s Covid vaccination requirement, posing a challenge for management as deadlines for staff returning to offices approaches.

The Biden administration is trying to mandate that all U.S. businesses with 100 or more employees get their staff fully vaccinated by January 4 or submit to routine testing for Covid-19.

According to internal files obtained by CNBC, Google requested its more than 150,000 workers to upload their vaccination status to its internal systems by December 3, whether they plan to return to the office or not. The company also requires any employees who work directly or indirectly with government contracts to be vaccinated, even if they work from home.

The manifesto, which at least 600 Google employees have signed, requests the company rescind the vaccination mandate and replace it with one that is “inclusive of all Googlers,” noting that the choice of the firm’s leadership would have a disproportionate impact on corporate America.

Employees are also encouraged to “oppose the mandate as a matter of principle” and not allow the policy to influence their choice if they have already decided not to get the shot.

Although a small percentage of Google’s total personnel has signed the document, it could gain steam as the return to work deadline gets closer.

Starting January 10, most of the company’s employees are scheduled to return to their physical workplaces three days a week.

In the past, Google employees have argued policies ranging from government contracts to cafeteria food modifications, leading the company to change direction on occasion. In 2018, after several workers worried that artificial intelligence might be exploited for lethal objectives, the company did not extend a contract with the Pentagon.

Google VP of security Chris Rackow sent an email in October stating:

“Vaccines are key to our ability to enable a safe return to office for everyone and minimize the spread of Covid-19 in our communities.”

According to Rackow, the corporation was already adopting vaccine requirements before Biden’s executive order, so the adjustments were “minimal.” Employees were told to request medical or religious exemptions by November 12 and that those decisions would be made on a case-by-case basis.

A Google spokesperson said, “As we’ve stated to all our employees and the author of this document, our vaccination requirements are one of the most important ways we can keep our workforce safe and keep our services running. We firmly stand behind our vaccination policy.” Additionally, Google’s vice president of data centers, Joe Kava, reportedly announced a $5,000 vaccine incentive for U.S. data center employees.

In July, the company’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, said that employees returning to offices would have to be vaccinated but noted that employees who do not want to get vaccinated would be permitted to continue working remotely.

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