By: April Carson
Hundreds of Google employees have signed and circulated a manifesto opposing the company's Covid vaccination requirement, adding to the pressure on management as it approaches key deadlines for face-to-face reinstatement of staff.
President Barack Obama's administration has mandated that US firms with 100 or more employees ensure that all of their staff are vaccinated against the H1N1 virus or are tested for it at least once a year by January 4. In order to address the shortage, Google sent a company-wide email instructing its more than 150,000 employees to submit their vaccination status to the company's computer systems by Dec. 3, whether they planned to come into work or not, according to internal documents seen by CNBC.
All employees of the firm that work on or with government contracts must be vaccinated, according to the company.
Chris Rackow, Google VP of security, said in an email sent near the end of October that vaccines are critical to our ability to provide a safe return to work for everyone and minimize Covid-19 transmission in our communities.
According to Rackow, the firm was already implementing rules, so Biden's executive order caused "mild" modifications. Employees needed to request exemptions for reasons such as religious convictions or medical problems by Nov. 12, according to his email, which gave a deadline of Nov. 12 for them to do so. Exceptions would be made on a case-by-case basis, he wrote.
According to the document, which has been signed by at least 600 Google workers, leaders should withdraw the vaccination order and develop a new one that is "inclusive of all Googlers." According to the manifesto, the leadership decision will have a huge impact in business America. It also encourages employees to “oppose the requirement as a matter of principle," and it urges them not to change their minds if they've decided against getting the Covid vaccination after reading about its drawbacks.
Despite the fact that only a tiny percentage of Google's global workforce has committed to the agreement, momentum may build as the return-to-work deadline approaches. The majority of Google's employees are anticipated to resume physical offices three days a week on Jan. 10th.
The manifesto is also the latest illustration of how vocal Google's staff members have become. They've previously argued everything from government contracts to cafeteria food modifications, which has prompted the company to alter course on a number of occasions. For example, after some employees raised concerns that the firm's research on artificial intelligence might be used for deadly purposes, the business did not extend a Pentagon deal to work on AI in 2018.
The Google policy on vaccinations has not changed, according to the company. “As we've told all of our employees and the author of this document, one of the most important safeguards we can provide is ensuring that our employees are safe while they work at Google. We fully support our vaccination policy.”
The Mandate Dilemma
For Google, as well as other businesses, vaccination is a problem. According to data from Johns Hopkins, the Covid-19 virus has caused 772,570 fatalities in the United States. Despite the fact that vaccination's record of success in delivering immunity against hospitalization and mortality is well established, the United States is having difficulties convincing over 60 million individuals who have not received their first dose to do so.
After the New York City measles outbreak, Google announced that all employees would need to be vaccinated in order to return to work. In October, Pichai said that the San Francisco Bay Area offices, which are close to its headquarters, are about 30% occupied, while the New York offices have around half of staff returning. "They will be able to work remotely, and those who don't want to get vaccinated will be able to do so.
In addition, the firm has tried to encourage staff to get immunized through various methods. For example, Joe Kava, vice president of data centers at Google, announced a $5,000 vaccination incentive spot bonus for U.S. data center employees in the manifesto.
Google's vice president of global security, Chris Rackow, stated in an email seen by CNBC that because the firm is now working with the federal government on "products and services ranging Ads, Cloud Maps, Workspace, and more," all employees who work directly or indirectly with government contracts will be required to get vaccinations — even if they are working from other countries.
The manifesto's authors are vehemently opposed.
“The Vaccine Mandate I believe is deeply flawed,” the manifesto adds, calling corporate leadership “coercive” and “the polar opposite of inclusion.”
The authors of the book state that the requirement to "disclose unvaccinated Googlers from the workplace publicly and perhaps embarrassingly" exposes a personal choice because it would be difficult for the employee not to explain why they can't return.
The obligation also violates the firm's principles of inclusion, according to the author.
Such Googlers may never feel at ease expressing their honest concerns about a company's health policy and other non-business issues. “As a result, the internal ideological ‘echo chamber' that everyone inside and outside of Google has observed for years is exacerbated.”
The anti-vaccination manifesto also objects to Google having a record of staff members' vaccination status.
“I don't think Google should have access to Googlers' health and medical records,” said one of the respondents. “The vaccination status is no exception.” According to internal documentation, Google has asked staff to submit their vaccination documents to the "environmental health and safety" team at Google even if they already submitted them to One Medical, one of Google's medical insurance providers.
The essayist claims that the vaccine requirement may be the first step down a slippery slope, which might lead to additional invasive measures - a refrain often heard among those opposed to the regulations.
“It normalizes medical intervention compulsion not just for Covid-19 vaccinations, but also for future vaccines and possibly non-vaccine treatments by extension,” the paper explains. “It justifies the notion of Googlers being divided and treated unequally based on their personal beliefs and judgments.” “The ramifications are alarming. Because Google is the industry leader, its requirements will lead other businesses to accept these as reasonable compromises.”
In a letter to Google's chief health officer, Karen DeSalvo, the group has made these worries public.
According to an internal email chain seen by CNBC, some Google employees attempted to bring more focus to the vaccine issue at the company's TGIF meeting by encouraging others to "downvote" other questions in an internal system known as Dory. The goal was to ensure that their inquiries would receive enough support to allow executives to respond.
Google's Health Goals
The resistance to vaccination requirements poses a fresh problem for Google's management, at a time when it is attempting to target the health-care industry as part of its expanding business goals - particularly for its cloud unit.
In August, Google disbanded its health unit as a formalized business unit for the health-care industry, and Dr. David Feinberg, who spent the previous two years running the company's health-care department, departed Google. Despite this, Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian has said the health-care industry is a major focus area on numerous occasions, and DeSalvo, who served as an Obama administration official and was hired as Google's first health chief in 2019, told CNBC's "Squawk Box" that the company is "still all in on health."
Google has attempted to profit on the wider struggle against Covid in a number of ways. Google spent nearly $30 million on at-home employee Covid tests from Cue Health, which went public in September and is valued at $3 billion, during the first half of 2021. Following the partnership, the firm revealed a separate collaboration with Google's cloud unit to collect and evaluate Covid data in order to forecast future variants. Google has collaborated with Apple to develop opt-in contact tracing software in an effort to combat the virus.
Cosmically Connected - Free Question and Psychic Reading with Cortney Ep10
About the Blogger:
April Carson is the daughter of Billy Carson. She received her bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from Jacksonville University, where she was also on the Women's Basketball team. She now has a successful clothing company that specializes in organic baby clothes and other items. Take a look at their most popular fall fashions on bossbabymav.com
To read more of April's blogs, check out her website! She publishes new blogs on a daily basis, including the most helpful mommy advice and baby care tips! Follow on IG @bossbabymav
LOOKING TO INVEST IN 4BIDDENKNOWLEDGE? CLICK HERE TO MAKE A CONTRIBUTION AND GET INVOLVED WITH 4BIDDENKNOWLEDGE TV AND BECOME PART OF THE MOVEMENT!
CLICK THE LINK TO INVEST