Meta makes booster shots mandatory for returning employees, office opening is delayed

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Facebook parent Meta Platforms has postponed the reopening date of the US office and mandated COVID-19 booster vaccinations for employees returning to office, joining the growing list of companies revising plans to reopen while Omicron increases.

For employees who choose to work in the office, the reopening date has been postponed from the previous January 31 plan to March 28, the tech giant announced on Monday.

All workers returning to the office will be required to provide proof of their booster jabs while the company is closely monitoring the situation of the Omicron variant, it said. Meta is currently demanding that all of its U.S. employees who come into office be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Employees have until March 14th to decide whether to return to the office, work remotely full-time, or work from home temporarily.

Workers who are not vaccinated for medical or religious reasons can request such remote work, a spokesman said. “Employees who do nothing can expect disciplinary action up to and including termination. This would of course be the last resort,” said the spokesman by email.

Corporate America has doubled vaccination regulations and delayed back-to-office plans as the Omicron variant drives infections to record levels across the country.

Last week, Citigroup announced that its U.S. employees who haven’t been vaccinated against COVID-19 by Jan. 14 will be put on unpaid vacation and laid off at the end of the month.

In December, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp offered an option to postpone the return to office.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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