After Google, Intel to put unvaccinated employees on unpaid leave

One company after another are adopting the same policies towards unvaccinated people, with the big tech companies such as Intel reportingly putting unvaccinated employees on unpaid leave.

The company has reportedly asked the employees, late last week, to submit their vaccination or medical reasons for not taking the vaccine by January 4, failing which employees will be put on unpaid leave, according to reports.

As such, Intel’s vaccine requirement was put in place to comply with President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate for companies with over 100 employees.

However, federal courts are still debating whether a sweeping mandate like this is constitutional. “We are closely monitoring the legal environment and expect it will take time for the case in Georgia, as well as other similar cases, to be fully resolved,” Intel said in a statement obtained by The Oregonian.

In the memo sent by the company, Intel HR boss Christy Pambianchi said unvaccinated employees will need to seek an exemption or get weekly tests, even if they’re working from home.

She also reportedly told employees that the company will review medical and religious exemptions up until March 15th of next year. The company initially put the January 4th vaccine deadline in place last month, but didn’t specify what would happen to unvaccinated employees if they didn’t comply.

In addition, Intel won’t fire unvaccinated employees and will provide healthcare benefits to those on leave.

If an employee’s exemption isn’t granted, they’ll be put on unpaid leave for at least three months starting on April 4th and “will not be terminated,” as Pambiachi reportedly puts it. She also stated that Intel will still provide healthcare benefits to those on leave.

It is worth mentioning that Google has also started cracking down on unvaccinated employees, and reportedly said that they will be placed on a 30-day administrative leave if they fail to get vaccinated or submit an exception by January 13th.

The policy by Google is more extreme, for example, if they’re still not vaccinated after the 30 days are up, they could be subject to unpaid leave and even termination, unlike at Intel. Facebook and Microsoft are also enforcing vaccine mandates — they’re requiring that employees get vaccinated before their offices reopen, which has been set back until 2022 for both companies.

Apple hasn’t gone as far as any of its big tech counterparts; it hasn’t set a vaccine mandate, not requiring employees to take regular COVID tests.