Nike is reportedly set to terminate the contracts of unvaccinated employees beginning as early as this weekend.
The company has already had a vaccine mandate in place since October, but now, they’re going to act on it. According to reports from Complex, Nike will fire unvaccinated employees who have not received a medical or religious exemption on Saturday, January 15.
“You failed to complete the verification process and our records show that you do not have an approved (exemption),” reads an e-mail sent to a Nike employee last week. “As a result, you are not in compliance with the Policy and your employment is scheduled to be terminated on Saturday, January 15, 2022.”
Another sportswear company, Columbia, will make a similar move beginning February 1, according to the same report. Still, neither company have issued statements in response to the report as of now.
Nike originally planned to have employees return to work on January 10 on a hybrid schedule, but those plans were scrapped due to the spread of the new COVID variants with a new return date yet to be announced.
“We do believe over time that with innovation and a strong brand, we want to go to a hybrid model,” Nike CEO John Donahoe said during last month’s earnings call. “As you know, in the United States we have mandated vaccines and have a very high response rate to that. So we’re ready to come back in a hybrid work environment when that’s safe.”
As more and more companies employ vaccine mandates, hopefully, more people will get vaccinated.