Sat, 13 Aug 2022

MOUNTAIN VIEW, California: At least 600 Google employees have signed a petition calling upon the company to reverse its COVID-19 vaccine requirements.

Citing internal documents, CNBC reported that Google has asked its more than 150,000 U.S. employees to report their vaccination status by 3rd December, regardless of whether they plan to return to the office.

In compliance with the Biden administration's federal mandate for contractors, all Google employees working directly or indirectly with government contractors are required to be vaccinated.

The petition, signed by fewer than 0.5% of Google employees, asks company executives to replace the current policy with a mandate "inclusive of all Googlers," CNBC reported.

Its signatories argue that any policy adopted by the $1.9 trillion company will have an outsized impact on the decisions of other companies.

The employees who signed the petition called on other workers to "oppose the mandate, as a matter of principle," adding that the policy should not affect any worker's decision on being vaccinated.

The petition also stressed that a mandate "barring unvaccinated Googlers from the office, publicly and possibly embarrassingly, exposes a private choice, as it would be difficult for the Googler not to reveal why they cannot return."

The petition also questions whether employees must upload their vaccination status to the company's internal system, rather than third parties, such as health benefits providers.

According to CNBC, the petition stated, "I do not believe Google should be privy to the health and medical history of Googlers, and the vaccination status is no exception."

Google has reportedly asked employees to upload their proof of vaccination directly to its "environmental health and safety" team.

But, as per CNBC, the petition said this "normalizes medical intervention compulsion, not only for Covid-19 vaccinations, but for future vaccines and possibly even non-vaccine interventions, by extension."

A spokesperson for Google confirmed the existence of the petition to CNBC, stating, "We firmly stand behind our vaccination policy."

In July, CEO Sundar Pichai said the company would require vaccinations for those returning to offices, becoming one of the first major U.S. companies to do so.

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