Ford to mandate vaccine for most salaried employees

Gold Ford Expedition

Ford Motor Co. will require most salaried employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 by Dec. 8 in accordance with President Biden’s vaccine mandate for federal contractors. 

The requirement will affect 32,000 salaried U.S. workers. Those who do not show proof of vaccination or get an approved medical or religious exemption will face unpaid leave, Ford said Wednesday. 

“The health and safety of our workforce remains our top priority and we have been very encouraged by the support of our employees to comply with our protocols, including the more than 84-percent of U.S. salaried employees who are already vaccinated,” Ford spokeswoman Monique Brentley told CNBC, which first reported the news Wednesday.

Ford has contracts with the federal government to provide cars and tracks, along with other services. Other automakers that also have government contracts, including General Motors, have not yet announced vaccine requirements. 

The announcement comes after the Biden administration released guidelines Monday giving federal contractors broad flexibility to enforce COVID-19 vaccination requirements. The rules allow employers to offer their workers medical or religious accommodations, or require not fully vaccinated workers to wear a mask and undergo frequent testing. 

The rules are less stringent than expected, bringing relief to companies that had expressed concern that they would have to fire large numbers of workers by Dec. 8. Workers at Southwest Airlines and American Airlines have pushed back on the requirement. 

The White House is expected to announce the details of its separate vaccine-or-test mandate for private employers this week. On Monday, the Office of Management and Budget completed its final review of the rule, which will require businesses with 100 employees or more to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations or weekly testing.

Tags COVID-19 Ford General Motors Joe Biden vaccine mandates

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