scorecardWalmart says it will require vaccinations for most corporate employees
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Walmart says it will require vaccinations for most corporate employees

Áine Cain,Allana Akhtar   

Walmart says it will require vaccinations for most corporate employees
Retail2 min read
  • Walmart said Friday it will require vaccinations for certain employees.
  • The rule applies to "home office associates" as well as other employees who "work in multiple facilities."
  • The vaccination deadline will be October 4, 2021.

Walmart will require certain employees to receive COVID-19 vaccinations, the company said Friday.

The retailer's new rule will apply to employees based at the retailer's headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas, according to a company-wide memo. "Market, regional, and divisional" management-level employees who travel and "work in multiple facilities" will also need to get vaccinated, the memo said.

The deadline for getting vaccinated is October 4, 2021. According to the memo, Walmart will also "implement a new process for verification of vaccine status" for its workers.

The vaccination requirement does not apply to employees who work in stores, clubs, or warehouses, the memo said.

Walmart also announced Friday that it would require store workers in areas with "high transmission" to mask up at work.

Read more: CEO Carol Tomé was an outsider hired to whip UPS into shape for the age of e-commerce. Some insiders and lifers worry she's killing what made the company great in the process.

Walmart is the first major retailer to require certain corporate employees get vaccinated, and among the first to reinstate mask requirements for some store workers.

Other retailers will likely follow suit, as Walmart led the way for stores to close on Thanksgiving and raise the minimum age to purchase firearms.

"We continue to watch with deep concern the developments of the pandemic and the spread of variants, especially the Delta variant," Walmart chief people officer Donna Morris said in an email to employees. "We know vaccinations are our solution to drive change. We are urging you to get vaccinated."

Walmart's new policies come as the Delta variant of COVID-19 spreads rapidly across the US. The current 7-day average of daily new cases increased by 64% compared to the previous 7-day average, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A leaked presentation from the CDC found the variant is more transmissible than the common cold and seasonal flu, but did not lead to severe illness or death in vaccinated individuals. The University of California Davis Health found 97% of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 are unvaccinated as of July 22.