Intel will put unvaccinated employees on unpaid leave

(Image credit: Intel)

Intel employees who (“unjustifiably”) remain unvaccinated by January 4 will be put on paid leave, as the company looks to comply with the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for companies with 100+ employees.

To remain compliant, the chip giant is asking its employees to either get the jab, submit an exemption by January 4, or get weekly tests (even if they’re working from home). If they decline all of these options, they will be put on unpaid leave for at least three months. They will not be fired, the company confirmed, and added that they’ll still get healthcare benefits. 

The company will be reviewing exemptions (both medical and religious), until March 15, 2022. 

Violating human rights

The Biden administration’s vaccine mandate is being scrutinized by federal courts, with the possibility of it being unconstitutional. Intel, however, doesn’t seem to be particularly interested in waiting it out, and risking any fines in the meantime.

“We are closely monitoring the legal environment and expect it will take time for the case in Georgia, as well as other similar cases, to be fully resolved,” the Oregonian cited an Intel statement.

Many people believe forcing vaccinations is a violation of basic human rights and refuse to do it, even if it means losing their jobs. There have been numerous examples of public servants, even doctors and nurses that have put in extremely long hours at the height of the pandemic, being fired for refusing to get vaccinated.

Most of big tech seems to be complying with the government on this one. Google is apparently putting people on a 30-day administrative leave if they refuse the vaccine, and in some cases, would even consider firing them. Facebook and Microsoft are doing a similar thing, demanding their staff get vaccinated before returning to the office. 

Even though it didn’t set a vaccine mandate, Apple does require regular testing.

Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.