In the latest step in Apple’s COVID-19 campaign, the company is requesting that all U.S. employees report their vaccination status. But so far, Cupertino has not mandated that employees get shots.
Apple asked employees to “voluntarily” provide information on their vaccination status by mid-September, whether they work at home or in an office, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.
The Cupertino tech giant said it is using the data to better its COVID-19 response efforts and protocols. The company previously requested vaccination status from employees in California, Washington and New Jersey to comply with local regulations.
“As Apple’s Covid-19 response continues to evolve, our primary focus remains keeping our team members, their friends and families, and our entire community healthy,” Apple said in a memo obtained by Bloomberg. The memo indicated a deadline of September 17.
No mandate yet
Though several other technology companies have begun requiring employees to get vaccinated, so far Apple has not gone that route. But it has stepped up efforts to persuade employees to do so. Its new campaign to convince employees to get the jab in light of the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the vaccine is an indication of that.
Apple also recently beefed up its voluntary COVID-19 testing program. It asked that employees get tested and allows them to do so up to three times a week.
‘Confidential and secure’
Apple told employees it is aggregating the provided information, and not informing managers about responses, in order to keep vaccine data “confidential and secure.” But that could change in the future, the company said.
“It is possible your vaccination status may be used in an identifiable manner, along with other information about your general work environment such as your building location, if we determine or, if it is required that, this information is necessary in order to ensure a healthy and safe work environment,” Apple’s memo said.
Although a required return of all staff to Apple offices has been the company’s plan, multiple delays ensued. Apple shifted a June return date to early September, then to October and, finally, to January 2022. The company has indicated it will give employees a one-month warning ahead of any return deadline.