Netflix has become the first major entertainment company to institute a mandatory Covid vaccination policy.
According to a new report in Deadline, the blanket rule will apply to casts on U.S.-based productions, including any contract workers and anyone else who visits active sets. Deadline reporter Nellie Andreeva:
I hear the streamer just informed its production teams and partners that it will be requiring vaccinations for everyone working in “Zone A,” which consists of the actors and those who come in close proximity to them.
The new return-to-work protocols agreed upon by the Hollywood unions and major studios last week give producers “the option to implement mandatory vaccination policies for casts and crew in Zone A on a production-by-production basis.
Deadline’s unnamed sources say the streaming giant may make some exceptions to the policy, but they will be rare, based on “medical, religious or age reasons.” Series and films that have already begun production may also be granted concessions.
The question of whether it is legal for employers to require vaccines has become a heated topic as the Delta variant is on the rise. As The Daily Wire previously reported, according to The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), businesses are not violating federal law if they require employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. However, the EEOC guidance also says businesses must make “reasonable accommodations” for employees who choose to forgo the vaccine due to religious beliefs, pregnancy, or disabilities. State and local laws may also override federal regulation.
Said EEOC Chair Charlotte A. Burrows, “The updated technical assistance released today addresses frequently asked questions concerning vaccinations in the employment context. The EEOC will continue to clarify and update our COVID-19 technical assistance to ensure that we are providing the public with clear, easy to understand, and helpful information.”
The EEOC further added that businesses can offer incentives to employees to get vaccinated “as long as the incentives are not coercive.”
One Republican lawmaker has introduced legislation that would make mandates like Netflix’s illegal.
Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH) told Fox News he believes such requirements are an “inherent violation of civil liberties.”
“They were making the same arguments on civil rights in the ‘60s when they said, well, I don’t have to let anyone stop at my gas station or my hotel or my restaurant, or ride where they choose on the bus – it’s my bus,” he said, adding, “And we said, ‘No, you have to have some reasonable public accommodation.’”
Davidson is therefore sponsoring the “Vaccine Passport Prevention Act” that would “bar the federal government from issuing any form of vaccine passport; ban states from doing the same as a condition of receiving federal funds; and bar businesses connected to interstate commerce from requiring ‘any patron or customer to provide any documentation certifying COVID-19 vaccination, or post-transmission recovery, as a condition’ of service.”
A previous version of this article stated that the policy applies to all Netflix employees. It has been revised to note that, according to the Deadline report, the policy applies to “Zone A” production employees.
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