Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told employees on Thursday during an all-hands meeting that they will not be required to get vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine to return to the office once the social media giant begins reopening its facilities, according to a report from The Daily Beast. Facebook employs more than 50,000 corporate employees, a vast majority of which have been working from home since the beginning of the year. BuzzFeed News also independently verified the news as well.
The company’s offices have been closed since March, and in May, Facebook announced a permanent work-from-home policy that gave employees the freedom to choose where they work going forward. But the plan since at least August of this year has been to reopen its offices by July 2021, which is when Facebook employees must declare a permanent residence and opt to either return to work in an office or choose to become a fully remote worker, a decision that may involve decreases in pay depending on where the employee resides.
Despite this, he expressed confidence in the vaccines. He also said that some employees have already started to return to offices abroad in places w/ low COVID numbers.
He did not mention contract content mods who were recently forced to come back in some US offices.
— Ryan Mac (@RMac18) December 10, 2020
Throughout its communication regarding remote work, Facebook has said little of how it plans to reopen its offices and, more importantly, what it may require of employees to begin returning to work. Zuckerberg’s internal announcement today marks the first of such declarations, and it makes him the first major tech CEO to stake out a position on whether employees will be required to get vaccinated to return to office work.
Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.