More Companies Require Employees to Receive COVID-19 Vaccine

Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

Over the weekend, Dallas and North Texas saw the highest number of COVID cases since the virus’s peak last winter.

While this spike in infections has many workplaces re-implementing social distancing and mask protocols, some are now taking it a step further. Several major corporations, including Texas Instruments, are requiring their employees to receive the COVID vaccine or lose their job.

The Dallas-based electronics manufacturer sent out an internal email stating that all employees must show either proof of vaccination or have an approved religious or philosophical exemption on file by October 29. This new requirement includes employees who work full-time from home.

“We did not make this decision lightly, and are taking this step because the safety of our workplace is so important,” wrote Darla Whitaker, senior vice president for human resources for Texas Instruments.

The tech company has locations globally, but they only require the vaccine for their U.S. workers so far. As of last autumn, Texas Instruments employed over 9,000 people in Dallas, with another 1,800 employees in Richardson and approximately 700 in Sherman.

Texas Instruments joins the ranks of other companies such as Capital One, Google, and AT&T in mandating vaccines. In addition, some companies, like Allen-based Credit Union of Texas, are trying to encourage employees to get the shot by offering incentives such as bonuses or paid time off.

While these new mandates may seem like an over-reach to many Texans, a recent poll conducted by the Dallas Regional Chamber showed that only around 8% of businesses are implementing any type of vaccine mandate. Close to 60% are not tracking employee vaccine status at all.

Texas residents are also entitled to religious and philosophical exemptions from vaccines, and the forms for that can be found on the Texas Health and Human Services Website.

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