Delta Airlines Takes on the …um, What’s That Variant Called?

August 26, 2021 |

When the carrot stops working, the big stick comes out. Forget the donuts and gift cards–Delta is going to make unvaccinated workers pay for that status. Starting September 30, 2021, unvaccinated employees will not receive extended pay protection if they contract COVID-19 and will be tested weekly (at Delta’s expense).  The big news is the $200 per month surcharge for the health plan to cover the cost for COVID-19 hospital stays. Delta stated all employees who have been hospitalized for the virus lately have been unvaccinated and the average hospital stay costs the airline $40,000. The aggressiveness of the Delta strain has prompted this drastic step. For some reason, Delta referred to the virus by its medical name (B.1.617.2)!

Delta stopped short of terminating unvaccinated employees like United Airlines has, but this move may have the same impact: unvaccinated employees will leave. Time will tell if it is a clever move to promote vaccination or just a clunky way to get unvaccinated employees off the payroll. Like most companies, Delta does require full vaccination as a condition of employment for new hires.

Unvaccinated employees remain in the spotlight for many employers as a liability for its workforce and customers. Delta’s policies illustrate how frustrated employers are in getting their workforce vaccinated. If you are ready for a mandatory vaccination policy and want assistance, we can help.


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