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These Retail Companies Are Requiring Vaccinations for Employees

The return to office is rolling out, albeit with some delays. And some retail companies are taking a no-tolerance approach to vaccinations.

The recent uptick in COVID-19 due to the Omicron variant has pushed employers to reconsider what they will allow in the office. Some employers are strongly encouraging their employees to get vaccinated — Dollar General became the first major retailer to offer a financial incentives for employees to get the shot.

At the same time, President Biden’s mandate that businesses with 100 or more employees must require vaccinations or weekly COVID-19 tests for employees is pending approval in the Supreme Court. Across retail, business organizations are expressing concerns about their ability to see the mandate through.

While some companies have implemented their own vaccine mandates, others are awaiting guidance on how to proceed, which could vary depending on their home states. Some companies, like Facebook-owner Meta, are requiring booster shots for employees to return to work from U.S. offices, which are set to open in late March. Jefferies Financial Group Inc. is also requiring employees who enter offices to have a booster administered by Jan. 31 if eligible.

Companies with vaccine mandates for employees thus far include:

Nike

In a statement to FN in October, Nike said it would require all U.S. office-based employees to get the vaccine in order to support “the effort to bring people safely back to their workplaces.” Nike initially wanted to call employees back to its offices by January 10, 2022 but delayed this indefinitely in December.

In a memo sent to employees in December, which was viewed by FN, Nike’s chief human resources officer Monique Matheson said that that employees will no longer be required to return to Nike’s U.S. offices on its previously announced date of Jan. 10, 2022. The memo cited the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases across the U.S. and the latest Omicron variant as reasons for the delay.

TJX Companies Inc.

TJX Companies Inc., the parent company of Marshalls and TJ Maxx, previously said it would require all U.S. home and regional office associates to be fully vaccinated by November 1. In December, the company said it would mandate all eligible office employees to obtain a booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine to return to work. The booster mandate applies to office workers and exclude employees in stores or distribution centers.

“We will require booster shots for vaccinated U.S. Office Associates as part of our U.S. Office vaccine mandate once eligible (i.e., two months following a one-dose vaccination (Johnson & Johnson) or six months following the last shot of two-dose vaccination (Moderna/Pfizer),” a TJX spokesperson told FN in a statement. “Those who received vaccinations after June 1, 2021 will generally have up to eight months following the date of their final two-dose vaccine and four months following the date of their one-dose vaccine. This booster requirement applies to our U.S. offices associates only, and not our store or distribution center associates.”

Under Armour Inc.

Under Armour required all employees to be fully vaccinated by Dec. 31, 2021 in order to return to campus in January and engage in company-sponsored travel. Retail and distribution workers are not required to be vaccinated, but those who are unvaccinated must wear masks while at work.

“The health, safety and well-being of our teammates as well as their families are our top priority,” said Tchernavia Rocker, Under Armour’s chief people and administrative officer. “We want to provide teammates with a safe work environment and, at this time, we believe that being vaccinated is the way to keep our team healthy and safe.”

Saks Fifth Avenue

Saks requires employees to be vaccinated in order to return to the office, according to a New York Times report.

Walmart

Walmart said all its US-based corporate employees must be vaccinated by October 4 to return, according to a memo from CEO and president Doug McMillon, CNBC reported.

Macy’s

Earlier this month, Macy’s said it would require all store and office-based employees to submit proof of their vaccination status in an online platform by Jan. 16, a company spokesperson confirmed to FN. Employees will not be required to share their booster status.

“The health and safety of our colleagues and customers remain top of mind for us,” the spokesperson said. “We are monitoring the situation closely and will continue to comply with federal and local guidelines.”

Employees who mark themselves as unvaccinated will have their submissions reviewed and might be contacted by a member of the Colleague Advisory team to discuss next steps.

Continue to check back for updates.

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