Toyota is planning to return to its U.S. headquarters in Plano, Texas, in January without a COVID-19 vaccine mandate, The Dallas Morning News reported.
The decision comes less than a week after the Biden administration published a new vaccine mandate developed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), under which private companies with more than 100 employees must require employees either to get vaccinated or to undergo regular COVID-19 tests and wear masks at work beginning Jan. 4.
Toyota spokesperson Scott Vazin in a statement emailed to The Hill said the compnay was evaluating the requirements and will review its current protocols based on the OSHA standard.
Vazin added that 75 percent of Toyota's North American employees are vaccinated, and the company is offering vaccines for workers through clinics and pharmacies.
Toyota’s Plano headquarters employs more than 4,000 workers and includes the company’s automotive, finance and technology businesses.
Other Texas-based companies such as AT&T, American Airlines and Southwest Airlines have opted to implement a vaccine mandate for their employees under the new OSHA rules, the Morning News noted.
Toyota’s senior vice president of automotive operations, Jack Hollis, said in a staff meeting last week that he expects Toyota and Lexus employees to be tested regularly.
“The theory was we want people to get vaccinated so we can go into the office and not wear a mask,” Hollis told employees.
“My own goal is that we get people back in here unmasked, working together again as early as January. Keep your fingers crossed and we’ll keep fighting the good fight on that,” he added.
This story was updated at 4:05 p.m.