The Walt Disney Company is requiring that their salaried and non-union U.S. employees get vaccinated before returning to work.
“At The Walt Disney Company, 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. “Toward that end, and based on the latest recommendations of scientists, health officials and our own medical professionals that the COVID-19 vaccine provides the best protection against severe infection, we are requiring that all salaried and non-union hourly employees in the U.S. working at any of our sites be fully vaccinated. Employees who aren’t already vaccinated and are working on-site will have 60 days from today to complete their protocols and any employees still working from home will need to provide verification of vaccination prior to their return, with certain limited exceptions. We have also begun conversations around this topic with the unions representing our employees under collective bargaining agreements. In addition, all new hires will be required to be fully vaccinated before beginning employment. Vaccines are the best tool we all have to help control this global pandemic and protect our employees.”
Disney is the latest major company to require vaccinations for employees as the Delta variant of COVID-19 continues to drive a major rise in cases throughout the country. Netflix announced earlier this week that those working in Zone A of productions — actors and those who come in close proximity to them — must be vaccinated as well. Companies like Google and Facebook have announced similar measures for their employees.
Hollywood’s major unions and studios previously announced that companies can impose vaccine mandates on any of those working in Zone A of productions under revised return-to-work rules.
Questions around vaccine mandates come as data shows that the unvaccinated are most likely to be severely affected by the Delta variant. It is still possible for those who have been vaccinated to contract the virus, however, which is why some state and local governments are again asking for people to wear masks indoors and maintain social distancing.