Chevron has adopted a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for some employees and is considering extending the mandate to its entire workforce, according to a company spokesperson and media reports.
A spokesperson for Chevron told The Epoch Times in an emailed statement that the oil giant is now requiring expatriate employees, workers traveling internationally, and employees on U.S.-flagged ships to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Offshore workers in the Gulf of Mexico and some onshore support staff will also be required to receive the shot.
“Chevron is committed to protecting the health of our people, and vaccinations are the strongest safeguard against the COVID-19 virus,” the spokesperson said. “So, as part of our fitness for duty safety standard, workers in certain jobs are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19.”
“We will continue to carefully monitor the medical data and follow the guidance of health authorities in order to protect our workforce,” the spokesperson added.
With the move, Chevron joins a growing list of major corporations—including Disney, Facebook, Google, McDonald’s, Twitter, United Airlines, and Walmart—announcing COVID-19 vaccine mandates for staff.
The Biden administration has been pushing hard for more Americans to get the shot, with President Joe Biden recently imposing strict requirements on federal employees to either be vaccinated or comply with new rules on mandatory masking, weekly testing, social distancing, and more. Biden said he hoped businesses would follow suit with measures that would boost vaccination rates among employees.
Job postings stipulating COVID-19 vaccines as a condition of employment have risen sharply in recent weeks and have begun popping up in sectors with little interpersonal contact, according to AnnElizabeth Konkel, an economist at Indeed Hiring Lab, the research and insights division of the Indeed job site.
The share of job postings per million explicitly mentioning COVID-19 vaccine requirements rose 34 percent in the week ended Aug. 7, compared to the same period a month earlier, according to a recent analytical note by Konkel.
“Employers are well aware that COVID-19, the fear of it and restrictions against it, dampen economic activity and some are not only encouraging vaccination among employees, but are now requiring it,” Konkel wrote.
Firms considering vaccine mandates are likely to have taken note of updated guidance issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which confirmed that employers can, with some restrictions, make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for employees.
The EEOC said employers would have to make “reasonable accommodations” for workers who can’t or won’t get vaccinated due to a medical condition, a religious belief, or pregnancy.
In a statement accompanying the updated guidance, the commission said that laws that are outside the agency’s purview might “place additional restrictions on employers” considering vaccine requirements.
A number of states have passed laws banning vaccine mandates, with a National Academy for State Health Policy tracker of state legislatures for such bills indicating that seven states have banned state worker vaccine requirements and five have prohibited private employer mandates.
U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy told “Fox News Sunday” that the Food and Drug Administration’s formal approval of the Pfizer–BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine would likely encourage businesses to move ahead with imposing mandates.
Reuters contributed to this report.
*This article has been updated to reflect receipt of a statement from Chevron.