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Nike intends to dismiss employees who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 as of this weekend, 15 January 2022. Those who have not been vaccinated for medical or religious reasons have been exempted.
The Swoosh team sent an email to 14,000 Beaverton-based associates who missed the December 1, 2021 vaccination deadline and the email said, “You were unable to complete the verification process and our records show that you do not have a pass (exemption). As a result, you are not in compliance with the Policy and your employment is scheduled to end on Saturday, January 15, 2022.”
January 10, 2022 was the initial target date for employees to return to the office and work a hybrid-type schedule, but with the Omicron variant beginning to expand in various parts of the country and the world, this date has been postponed indefinitely.
Although legal obstacles have prevented the government from issuing mandates related to COVID-19, brands like Nike still have the ability to implement mandatory policies for their employees.
In addition, Columbia Sportswear, another apparel brand that is also based in Oregon, is expected to follow suit and take similar steps as of 1 February, according to the aforementioned report. Nike and Columbia have not made any official statement on the matter.