Over 600 Google employees have signed a letter opposing the company’s plan to extend its vaccine rules and force employees to upload their vaccination status to a central database. The letter cites several issues including the privacy of medical information and non-inclusivity.
The Biden administration recently ordered that all companies based in the US with more than 100 employees should enforce vaccine passports for employees by January 4. Google responded by asking its more than 150,000 employees to upload proof of vaccination in an internal system by December 3, even if they plan to continue working remotely, internal documents obtained by CNBC revealed.
The company has also said that all employees that directly or indirectly handle government contracts need to upload proof of vaccination, even if they work remotely.
In an email sent in late October, Google’s head of security Chris Rackow said, “Vaccines are key to our ability to enable a safe return to office for everyone and minimize the spread of Covid-19 in our communities.”
His email gave employees until November 12 to submit their requests from medical or religious exemptions.
The letter that has been signed by over 600 employees, encourages employees to “oppose the mandate as a matter of principle” and to not change their minds about getting the vaccine because of the mandate.
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The author of the letter called Google’s vaccine mandate “deeply flawed,” “coercive,” and the “antithesis of inclusion.”
The letter argues that the mandate exposes a private choice. By “barring unvaccinated Googlers from the office publicly and possibly embarrassingly” it “exposes a private choice as it would be difficult for a Googler not to reveal why they cannot return.”
The manifesto also argues the mandate is not inclusive. “I do not believe Google should be privy to the health and medical history of Googlers and the vaccination status is no exception.”
The author also feels the mandate will set a dangerous precedent.
“It justifies the principle of division and unequal treatment of Googlers based on their personal beliefs and decisions. The implications are chilling. Due to its presence as an industry leader, Google’s mandate will influence companies around the world to consider these as acceptable tradeoffs.”