Starting in September, Microsoft will require employees and anyone else entering company buildings to be vaccinated against COVID-19, the company said Tuesday. The decision comes after fellow tech giants Google and Facebook made similar announcements last week.
Microsoft employees with a medical condition or religious objections will have a special exemption from the new rule. The Redmond, Washington-based company had about 96,000 full-time employees in the U.S. at the end of 2020.
Here’s what the company said about its vaccination policy, in a statement shared with The Verge:
“As we have done since the beginning of the pandemic, we continue to closely track new developments and adapt our plans as this situation evolves, keeping employees health and safety top of mind. Based on our continued consultation with health and data experts, our earliest date for the full opening of our U.S. worksites will be no earlier than October 4, 2021. Starting in September, we’ll also require proof of vaccination for all employees, vendors and any guests entering Microsoft buildings in the U.S., and will have an accommodation process in place for employees. We continue to review the situation on a local basis in each region/country/state where we work and will adjust dates and policies as needed.”
Facebook and Alphabet, the parent company of Google, both said last week they would require employees to be vaccinated when U.S. workers return to their offices in October. Microsoft is the second biggest company in the world, with a market cap of $2.15 trillion.
The C.D.C.’s website, as of Tuesday morning, said 70% of American adults have received at least one vaccination shot.