The Walt Disney Company notified workers it would require all salaried and hourly non-union employees at any of its locations in the U.S. to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Union employees covered by collective bargaining agreements may also be required to inoculate, and the Burbank, Calif.-based company said it has “begun conversations” to ensure that. All new hires must also be vaccinated.
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“At The Walt Disney Co., the safety and well-being of our employees during the pandemic has been and continues to be a top priority,” the company said in a statement. “Based on the latest recommendations of scientists, health officials, and our own medical professionals … the COVID-19 vaccine provides the best protection against severe infection.”
Employees have two months to comply with the company mandate. Remote workers must be ready to show proof of vaccination before they can return to the office. Disney -- the world’s largest entertainment company -- employs more than 200,000 people across the globe.
Disney’s vaccination mandate comes as the Delta variant of the coronavirus pushes case numbers higher again. Unlike some companies, Disney is not expected to allow workers who refuse to vaccinate the option for frequent testing.