Google faces mandatory vaccination resistance ahead of office return

Bobby Hellard

24 Nov, 2021

Google is facing an internal backlash over its plans to enforce employees to provide vaccination statuses by December. 

“Several hundred” Googlers have signed and circulated a manifesto opposing the plans, according to CNBC, potentially delaying the tech giant’s office return, again

Google is following the Biden administration’s orders that all US companies with 100 or more workers have to ensure that all employees are fully vaccinated or regularly tested for Covid-19 by 4 January. According to internal documents, seen by CNBC, the tech giant has asked its 150,000 plus workforce to upload vaccination status to its internal system by 3 December, whether they plan to come into the office or not. This also appears to be the case for employees that work directly or indirectly with US government contracts – also whether they work remotely or not.

“Vaccines are key to our ability to enable a safe return to the office for everyone and minimise the spread of Covid-19 in our communities,” wrote Chris Rackow, Google VP of security, in an email sent near the end of October, CNBC reports.

The manifesto spreading around Google has been signed by at least 600 employees, according to reports. It asks the company’s leaders to retract the vaccine mandate and create a new one that is “inclusive of all Googlers“. It also calls on employees to “oppose the mandate as a matter of principle”, informing staff to not let the policy alter their decision if they’ve already opted not to get a vaccine.

“As we’ve stated to all our employees and the author of this document, our vaccination requirements are one of the most important ways we can keep our workforce safe and keep our services running,” a spokesperson for Google said. “We firmly stand behind our vaccination policy.”