Disney is the latest entertainment company to announce it will require employees to receive Covid vaccinations, saying in a statement released to trade publications on Friday, “Vaccines are the best tool we all have to help control this global pandemic and protect our employees.”
The policy will apply to all U.S.-based salaried and non-union hourly employees, including those who work at the Disneyworld and Disneyland theme parks.
“At The Walt Disney Company, the safety and well-being of our employees during the pandemic has been and continues to be a top priority,” the Mouse House said, adding, “Toward that end, and based on the latest recommendations of scientists, health officials and our own medical professionals that the COVID-19 vaccine provides the best protection against severe infection, we are requiring that all salaried and non-union hourly employees in the U.S. working at any of our sites be fully vaccinated.”
The statement went on to say Disney employees have two months to comply:
“Employees who aren’t already vaccinated and are working on-site will have 60 days from today to complete their protocols and any employees still working from home will need to provide verification of vaccination prior to their return, with certain limited exceptions…In addition, all new hires will be required to be fully vaccinated before beginning employment. Vaccines are the best tool we all have to help control this global pandemic and protect our employees.”
That said, the company is not yet mandating union employees be vaccinated as that will require collective bargaining negotiations with union representatives, but according to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney has begun those talks.
Disney joins other entertainment companies like Netflix already mandating Covid vaccines. As The Daily Wire reported, last week, the streaming giant announced it will now require “Zone A” employees to receive coronavirus shots, which applies to the cast and crew of productions that haven’t already begun filming.
The same day Disney released its new vaccination policy for employees, it also announced that it will once again require visitors to its Florida and California theme parks over age two to wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status. In a statement posted to its website, the company says that face coverings will be required while riding all attractions and on Disney buses, monorails and skyliners. Masks will be optional in outdoor common areas.
According to THR, “Netflix’s policy change occurred days after Hollywood’s major studios and guilds released new set safety protocols July 19, including giving producers the “option to implement mandatory vaccination policies for casts and crew in Zone A on a production-by-production basis.”
As The Daily Wire previously reported, according to The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), businesses are allowed to require employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 provided they make “reasonable accommodations” for employees who choose to forgo the vaccine due to religious beliefs, pregnancy, or disabilities.