Protest of COVID Vax Mandate Circulates Amongst Google Staff Google's main campus in 2019. (Amy Osborne / AFP via Getty Images)
By Nick Koutsobinas | Tuesday, 23 November 2021 07:06 PM
Several hundred employees at Google are circulating a manifesto in opposition to the company's COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
The manifesto, which, as CNBC reports, has gained roughly 600 signatures so far, indicates that the tech giant's call to vaccinate its employees lends to a slippery slope of intruding on employees' privacy. In addition, it points to the possibility that Google's influence could affect the ethos of companies worldwide.
The manifesto's author writes that the company's mandate to vaccinate its employees "normalizes medical intervention compulsion not only for COVID-19 vaccination but for future vaccines and possibly even non-vaccine interventions by extension."
"It justifies the principle of division and unequal treatment of Googlers based on their personal beliefs and decisions," they continue. "The implications are chilling. Due to its presence as an industry leader, Google's mandate will influence companies around the world to consider these as acceptable tradeoffs."
In response to the Biden administration's call to companies with 100 or more employees to get vaccinated or submit to weekly testing, Google has asked its nearly 150,000 employees to upload their vaccination status by Dec. 3, whether they plan to return to the office or not. Google has also made it a point that a vaccine requirement persists among employees who work directly or indirectly with government contracts, regardless of whether they work from home or not.
Google VP of security, Chris Rackow, wrote in an email that "vaccines are key to our ability to enable a safe return to office for everyone and minimize the spread of COVID-19 in our communities."
Rackow's email gave a deadline of Nov. 12 for employees to file for religious or medical exemptions from getting vaccinated while mentioning that exemptions would be decided on a case-by-case basis.
A spokesperson for Google, who later addressed the manifesto, says that "as we've stated to all our employees and the author of this document, our vaccination requirements are one of the most important ways we can keep our workforce safe and keep our services running. We firmly stand behind our vaccination policy."