Non-union and salaried employees across the Walt Disney Company, including those working at its U.S. theme parks, will be required to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
In its announcement Friday, Disney said it has started conversations with unions. That includes organizations representing tens of thousands of employees at Walt Disney World, the largest single-site employer in the U.S, and the Disneyland Resort.
“In addition, all new hires will be required to be fully vaccinated before beginning employment,” Disney said in its statement. “Vaccines are the best tool we all have to help control this global pandemic and protect our employees.”
Union leaders did not immediately respond to Theme Park Tribune’s request for comment.
For employees working remotely, Disney said they’ll need to provide verification of vaccination prior to the return “with certain limited exceptions. For on-site workers, they’ll have until the end of September to get vaccinated if they haven’t done so already. This would include cast members at Disney’s theme parks and hotels.
All three COVID-19 vaccines available in the U.S. went through multiple rounds of clinical testing for safety and efficacy, with the data then being reviewed by health regulators before being authorized for emergency use. Over 342 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines have been given in the U.S. as of Monday, encountering serious side effects only in very rare instances.
Contrary to online misinformation, it is legal for private companies to require that workers get vaccinated as a condition of employment. Other major companies also have some form of vaccine mandates, including Netflix, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Lyft, and Uber.