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IBM says all US workers have to be vaccinated or face an unpaid ban

Scott Eelis | Bloomberg | Getty Images

IBM announced this week to US employees that they must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 by December 8, or face an unpaid ban.

The company told workers it must meet President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate for government contractors.

“As a federal contractor, it is a business imperative for IBM to fulfill this mandate,” the company said in a memo sent to employees this week. “Given this requirement, the guidelines of many of our customers and partners, and easy access to vaccines across the country, we will now require all IBM US employees to be fully vaccinated by December 8, 2021 to be at IBM.”

Unlike some companies, such as United Airlines, IBM’s vaccination policy doesn’t stop firing unvaccinated employees. But those who refuse to be vaccinated will not be paid after December 8th until they have completed their vaccinations.

Employees removed from payroll are also not eligible for IBM’s 401K matching program. IBM doubles 401,000 contributions up to 6% once a year on December 15th. The top-up goes only to employees currently on payroll, which means employees who miss IBM’s December 8 vaccination deadline will lose their 401,000 year-round contribution.

An IBM spokesman told CNBC in a statement that the company would consider religious and medical exemptions for employees who cannot receive the vaccine.

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