Bloomberg reports that Apple this week began requesting its employees in the United States to voluntarily provide their vaccination status. The Cupertino firm has not yet handed down a vaccination mandate to its workers.
Employees are being asked to voluntarily share their vaccination status by mid-September. The request includes both employees working in the office and those working from home. An Apple memo told employees that the company’s focus is keeping “team members, their friends and families, and our entire community healthy,” but also mentioned creating a safe work environment.
“It is possible your vaccination status may be used in an identifiable manner, along with other information about your general work environment such as your building location, if we determine or, if it is required that, this information is necessary in order to ensure a healthy and safe work environment.”
Apple plans to use the responses to inform COVID-19 response efforts and protocols. Bloomberg says the company had already asked for data from employees in California, Washington, and New Jersey in order to comply with local regulations.
The vaccine data is being kept confidential with information aggregated and not shared with managers, but all that could change in the future. While some tech firms, including Google and Facebook, have mandated vaccines for their employees, Apple has not yet done so. However, following the FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine last week, Apple began pushing its employees to get vaccinated.
Apple is sending out memos and holding internal talks as part of a vaccination campaign. It has also launched an internal web page to encourage employees to get vaccinated. The company is offering vouchers to get employees vaccinated at Walgreens and is also offering on-site vaccinations in the San Francisco Bay Area and Austin. The company is giving paid time off for vaccine appointments, as well as paid sick leave for employees that experience side effects from the vaccine.