Google to require vaccinations, delay return to office until October

Company to allow exceptions for those who cannot be vaccinated for medical or other reasons

Google announced Wednesday that it will require all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19, and that it plans to extend its work-from-home policy through mid-October as the delta variant becomes more prominent in communities across the United States. 

Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Wednesday said that any Google employee coming to work on a Google campus "will need to be vaccinated." 

"We’re rolling this policy out in the U.S. in the coming weeks and will expand to other regions in the coming months," Pichai wrote in a blog post Wednesday. "The implementation will vary according to local conditions and regulations, and will not apply until vaccines are widely available in your area." 

He added that Google employees will get additional guidance about how the new policy will affect them, as well as details on "an exceptions process for those who cannot be vaccinated for medical or other protected reasons." 

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Pichai went on to announce an extension in Google’s "global voluntary work-from-home policy through October 18." 

"We are excited that we’ve started to re-open our campuses and encourage Googlers who feel safe coming to sites that have already opened to continue to do so," Pichai said, adding that, at the same time, the company recognizes that many employees are "seeing spikes in their communities caused by the Delta variant and are concerned about returning to the office." 

"This extension will allow us time to ramp back into work while providing flexibility for those who need it," Pichai said, adding that Google will "continue watching the data carefully and let you know at least 30 days in advance before transitioning into our full return to office plans." 

Google is also offering employees with "special circumstances" the offer to apply to work from home through the end of 2021. 

FILE - In this Oct. 20, 2015 file photo, signage sits outside Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File) (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File / AP Newsroom)

"I hope these steps will give everyone greater peace of mind as offices reopen," Pichai said. "Seeing Googlers together in the offices these past few weeks filled me with optimism, and I’m looking forward to brighter days ahead." 

Google's vaccine mandate comes as states like New York and California have announced this week that government employees will be required to receive COVID-19 vaccinations. 


President Biden is also mulling over whether to require federal employees to receive COVID-19 vaccines. 

The Department of Veterans Affairs on Monday became the first federal agency to require employees receive a vaccine. The agency noted that the employees required to receive a vaccine are health care workers who are in patient-facing roles.