The return to office is rolling out, albeit with some delays. And some retail companies are taking a no-tolerance approach to vaccinations.
The recent uptick in COVID-19 due to the delta variant has pushed employers to reconsider what they will allow in the office. Some employers are strongly encouraging their employees to get vaccinated — Dollar General became the first major retailer to offer a financial incentives for employees to get the shot.
Now, some employers are requiring the vaccination outright for any employee to return.
Dorit Reiss, a law professor at the University of California, Hastings who specializes in vaccine policies, told Footwear News in January that companies that mandate employee vaccinations are within their legal right to do so in most cases. Complications can arise when the mandate involves unionized workers, people with certain disabilities and those with religious conflicts.
Companies with vaccine mandates for employees thus far include:
TJX Companies Inc.
TJX Companies Inc., the parent company of Marshalls and TJ Maxx, will require all U.S. home and regional office associates to be fully vaccinated by November 1.
“As we continue to monitor the evolution of the COVID-19 situation, we are committed to adjusting our health and safety protocols based on what we believe is in the best interest of our associates and our company,” TJX said in a statement. “TJX will provide accommodations for those who cannot get vaccinated due to qualified medical or religious reasons. We believe this is an important way to help protect our associates as we return to our offices this fall.”
Under Armour Inc.
Under Armour will require all employees to be fully vaccinated by Dec. 31, 2021 in order to return to campus in January and engage in company-sponsored travel. Retail and distribution workers are not required to be vaccinated, but those who are unvaccinated must wear masks while at work.
“The health, safety and well-being of our teammates as well as their families are our top priority,” said Tchernavia Rocker, Under Armour’s chief people and administrative officer. “We want to provide teammates with a safe work environment and, at this time, we believe that being vaccinated is the way to keep our team healthy and safe.”
Saks Fifth Avenue
Saks is aiming for a September return to the office for its nearly 500 New York-based corporate employees, with some flexibility. The company will require employees to be vaccinated in order to return, according to a New York Times report.
Walmart said all its US-based corporate employees must be vaccinated by October 4 to return, according to a memo from CEO and president Doug McMillon, CNBC reported.
Continue to check back for updates.