Walmart has announced that its corporate staff and management-level employees must receive COVID-19 vaccinations by Oct. 4.
Employees who do not comply with the new regulations by that date will face a suspension period of up to 28 days.
At the end of the suspension period, individuals who have not received an approved medical or religious exemption and still fail to get vaccinated will be terminated.
“As we all know, the pandemic is not over, and the Delta variant has led to an increase in infection rates across much of the U.S,” said Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillion in a memo sent to U.S.-based Walmarts. “Given this, we have made the decision to require all market, regional and divisional associates who work in multiple facilities and all campus office associates to be vaccinated by October 4th, unless they have an approved exception. This includes all new hires.”
McMillion said he recommends employees “begin the process soon,” as it takes two weeks after the final dose to be considered fully vaccinated.
The company has pushed for employees to receive the vaccination for quite some time and has even provided associates incentives to receive it.
“We have been paying associates $75 to get vaccinated and are now increasing that amount to $150 for associates in stores,” the company stated.
One Walmart employee said it is only a matter of time before the requirements affect all Walmart workers.
“It will come out in waves I think,” said Jubal White, a cashier at the Charlotte Pike location in Nashville. “I’m already vaccinated, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the rules are carried down to all employees, no matter what level they are.”
Walmart joins Disney, Google and Netflix, among others, as companies that are requiring certain employees to be vaccinated.