Apple to require all U.S. employees to report vaccination status

September 1, 2021, 5:35 PM UTC

Apple Inc. is asking all U.S. employees to report their vaccination status, marking the latest move in a COVID-19 campaign that has stopped short of mandating shots.

The iPhone maker has asked the employees to report their status “voluntarily” by mid-September, regardless of whether they are working remotely or from an office. The company said it’s using the data to inform its COVID-19 response efforts and protocols. Apple previously asked employees in California, Washington and New Jersey for this information to comply with local regulations. 

“As Apple’s COVID-19 response continues to evolve, our primary focus remains keeping our team members, their friends and families, and our entire community healthy,” Apple said in the memo. It set a deadline of Friday, Sept. 17. 

An Apple spokesperson didn’t respond to a request for comment. 

Unlike several of its peers in technology, Apple isn’t requiring vaccines. But it’s become more aggressive in nudging employees. The company recently started a campaign to encourage staff to get shots now that U.S. Food and Drug Administration approvals have begun. 

Last month, Apple ramped up its optional COVID-19 testing program, requesting that employees use it up to three times per week.

Apple told employees that it is keeping the vaccine data “confidential and secure” by aggregating the information and not informing managers of responses. Still, that situation could change in the future, the company said.

“It is possible your vaccination status may be used in an identifiable manner, along with other information about your general work environment such as your building location, if we determine or, if it is required that, this information is necessary in order to ensure a healthy and safe work environment,” Apple said in the memo.

The company will eventually require all corporate staff to return to the office, but it has delayed that plan several times. It initially aimed to have workers back in June, and then later asked employees to return by early September. It pushed that back to October and again until January. It has told employees it will give them a one-month warning on a return deadline.

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