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Delta Air Lines, the world’s second-largest passenger airline, will begin charging its unvaccinated employees $200 a month as an extra health surcharge, the company CEO announced Wednesday.
CEO Ed Bastian said in a letter to Delta employees that 75% of the company’s 75,000 employees are vaccinated. Still, he outlined several steps the Atlanta-based company will now take:
Unvaccinated employees are required to wear masks when inside any Delta setting.
Beginning Sept. 12, unvaccinated U.S. employees must take weekly COVID-19 tests.
Unvaccinated employees enrolled in Delta’s health care plan will be charged $200 a month.
Beginning Sept. 30, COVID-19 pay protection will be available only to vaccinated employees.
Bastian said the average hospital stay for an employee with COVID-19 has cost Delta $40,000. The health surcharge will have the company “address the financial risk the decision to not vaccinate is creating for our company.”
Since the rise of the Delta variant, he said, all Delta Air Lines employees who have been hospitalized with COVID have been unvaccinated.
Bastian also urged all unvaccinated employees to get the shots. The FDA’s decision to grant the Pfizer vaccine full regulatory approval means “the time for you to get vaccinated is now,” he said.
Delta has already said that all new hires are required to be vaccinated, but it has stopped short of mandating vaccines for employees, something United Airlines began this month.
Delta Air Lines: “Ed Bastian memo: COVID-19 update.”
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