Delta Requires New Hires To Be Vaccinated Against Covid-19 Or They Won’t Be Employed

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Delta Air Lines has entered another drastic phase in their employment policy as the company requires all new hires to be vaccinated against Covid-19 otherwise the job application won’t be considered.

The company hasn’t commented on a mandatory vaccination policy concerning current employees but a spokesperson complimented the team effort.

According to Delta the overall progress among employees to get vaccinated has been satisfactory and represents great progress to achieve herd immunity within the workforce.

This sets an interesting precedent as far as overall employment policy in the U.S. is concerned and it remains to be seen how many companies will follow this example providing it passes a legal test.

WSB Atlanta reported about this story last night and I picked up on this after Gary tweeted about it.

All new Delta employees will now be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before being hired, the company announced Thursday.

The Atlanta-based air line company did not reference whether or not they will be requiring current employees to be vaccinated, but complimented their employees saying they have made “great progress to achieve herd immunity within our workforce.”

A spokesperson for Delta Air Lines released a statement Thursday evening:

We know that vaccines are the best tool we have to protect one another and bring an end to the pandemic. Delta people have made great progress to achieve herd immunity within our workforce, so to help us maintain that trajectory, we will be requiring all new hires in the U.S. to be vaccinated against COVID-19 unless they qualify for an accommodation. This is an important move to protect our workforce and our customers as our business recovers and demand for air travel continues to rise.

—  Delta Air Lines Spokesperson Elizabeth Ninomiya

This announcement comes after the CDC made changes to its mask guidelines for those who have been vaccinated, stating that it is no longer necessary for them to continuing wearing masks inside or outside.

A Delta spokesperson told Channel 2 Action News the air line company will continue to require masks.

Working in the field of public transportation where you get in face-to-face contact with thousands of people everyday puts you automatically more at risk than someone who can avoid this environment and as such brings the potential to snowball within the company as well.

However the approach Delta takes here is quite drastic in my opinion. New employees who apply for a job at Delta need to provide proof they’ve received one of the Covid-19 vaccines while existing employees can still do as they please. Of course it’s quite difficult to get rid of current employees in good standing and rightfully so.

Personally I don’t like this overreach by both government and the private sector when it comes to dictating people what health decisions they should take as it fuels the drive of partitioning people into a two class society. There are enough problems already in the texture of today’s society.

Coming back to the area of employment and the risks involved while being exposed to many people I would very likely just go and get the vaccine if I had to face a ton of strangers in close proximity every day.

Likewise am I going to receive mine maybe sometime early 2022 as I have a cruise booked mid next year and don’t fancy running for a refresher every six months or so.

I’m in the fortunate position that I don’t need to follow any other protocol apart from what limits me in terms of travel and quite frankly at the moment a vaccine would benefit me in no way at all as far as access to countries is concerned where I’d like to go and then return home.

What’s important to consider in the case of Delta and other employers who might want to follow this same policy is that there are several layers to this matter.

  • Delta wants employees vaccinated to not get sick and likewise don’t spread Covid to customers. An infection cluster in a company is a disaster and can totally derail operations
  • Employees want to protect themselves and their families
  • Customers want to feel safe when traveling but the responsibility here really lasts upon them to comply with mask rules and get the vaccine themselves if they want to

There will never be a complete inoculation of the population with these vaccines. At this point the best and most realistic number is probably something between 60-70%. Of course such policies or a government mandate might push that number a little but it’d also create a lot of bad blood resulting in whatever dangerous situation we end up seeing daily in the news.

Conclusion

Delta has brought forward a no hiring policy for applicants who aren’t vaccinated against Covid-19. Existing employees have so far not received a demand to go and receive the vaccine although a large number of Delta employees (probably the majority) went to get it voluntarily simply based on a risk assessment related to their workplace and exposure. I wonder when other airlines and businesses will follow this lead?

Hard to say what is the way forward with this. You already see people argue about this topic on a daily basis be it between colleagues, friends or families and especially anonymous online boards. I decided to largely withdraw from toxic discussions surrounding public health policy and mostly act upon the currently valid government mandates wherever I go plus a high degree of personal hygiene and care.

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