Alaska Airlines will require all new hires to be vaccinated
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Alaska Airlines announced Thursday that going forward, all new staff members at the company and Horizon Air, its subsidiary, must be vaccinated against COVID-19 before being hired.
Currently, 75% of staff at both Alaska Airlines and Horizon who shared that vaccination status are already vaccinated, the company said in a statement. In addition to all new hires needing to be vaccinated, the airline said current employees who remain unvaccinated will need to participate in a “vaccine education program” as part of the additional safety measures.
Unvaccinated employees will also no longer have access to special COVID-19 pay for work absences due to testing positive or exposure.
The vaccination requirement for new hires takes effect immediately, the company said.
“We believe having as many people as possible vaccinated is the is best path for protection against COVID-19 and we will continue to strongly encourage our employees to be vaccinated,” the statement read.
Alaska Airlines also said it will give $200 to employees who show proof of vaccination.
The additional measures come as several other U.S. airlines take similar precautions, and as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to climb in Alaska.
Delta Air Lines announced last month that it will charge employees who remain unvaccinated up to an additional $200 a month for their health insurance. The company is also requiring unvaccinated employees to test weekly and limiting the number of sick days employees can take if they test positive for COVID-19.
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