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Alaska Airlines will require all employees to be vaccinated

The previous policy only applied to new hires
Alaska Air Group will require all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Alaska Air Group will require all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.(Source: Alaska Airlines, CNN)
Published: Oct. 1, 2021 at 6:00 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Alaska Air Group announced Friday it will now require all employees to become vaccinated against COVID-19 in a shift from its previous policy announced last month.

According to a statement sent by Communications Manager Cole Cosgrove, Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air and McGee employees will need to get vaccinated. The company determined that, because it does “significant” work for the federal government, its employees do fall under the federal vaccine mandate along with other major airlines.

“Over the past 18 months we’ve invested in significant resources to educate our employees and encourage everyone to get vaccinated,” the statement reads. “We remain committed to protecting everyone from the impacts of the COVID-19 virus. As part of that effort, we are once again updating our response plan to comply with a new federal mandate: an Executive Order issued by the White House that requires all employees of federal contractors to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.”

The company said all employees including certain contractors and vendors will be required to either be fully vaccinated or approved for a “reasonable accommodation,” such as a medical condition or religious belief that would prevent them from getting vaccinated.

The deadline for employees to get vaccinated hasn’t been confirmed by the federal government, the release states, “but it could be as early at Dec. 8, 2021.”

“That’s why we encourage all of our employees to begin the vaccination process as soon as possible, and to allow time for their vaccination regime to be fully completed,” the statement reads.

The company will also extend its deadline for newly vaccinated employees to receive a $200 bonus when they show proof of full vaccination to Dec. 1.

Just last month, Alaska Airlines announced all new hires would need to be fully vaccinated, but that it was still encouraging it for current employees. At that time, the airline said current employees who remained unvaccinated would have to participate in a “vaccine education program” and would no longer have access to special COVID-19 pay for work absences due to testing positive or exposure.

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