Coronavirus: IBM requires all US employees to be fully vaccinated by Dec. 8

IBM announced that it will require all U.S. employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Dec. 8 or face an unpaid suspension.

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The company told workers that it must comply with President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate for government contractors, CNBC reported.

IBM, which is a federal contractor, has tens of thousands of U.S. employees, Bloomberg reported.

“As a federal contractor, it is a business imperative for IBM to comply with this mandate,” the company said in a memo sent to employees this week. “In light of this requirement, the policies of many of our clients and partners, and the easy access to vaccines around the country, we will now require all IBM U.S. employees to be fully vaccinated by Dec. 8, 2021, in order to work at IBM.”

Employees removed from payroll will be ineligible for IBM’s 401(k) matching program, according to CNBC. IBM matches 401(k) contributions up to 6% annually on Dec. 15, The Wall Street Journal reported. The match only goes to employees currently on the payroll, so employees who miss the vaccination deadline will forfeit the 401(k) match for the entire year.

An IBM spokesperson told CNBC in a statement that the company will consider religious and medical exemptions for employees who can’t get the vaccine.

The company’s decision was prompted by “the continued spread of COVID-19, local clinical conditions around IBM sites, and the reality that vaccines are readily available nationwide,” a company spokesperson said in a statement. “As we’ve said throughout the pandemic, IBM’s health and safety practices are driven by science.”

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