Delta Airline says it will impose a $200 monthly surcharge on unvaccinated employees as a growing number of U.S. companies push to have staff and employees get jabbed against covid-19.
About three-quarters of Delta’s workers already are vaccinated, said CEO Ed Bastian in a company memo Wednesday. However, the growing number of cases of coronavirus linked to a “very aggressive” delta variant are driving the push for all employees to get the shots.
Unvaccinated employees can expect to see $200 monthly increases on their health insurance premiums, Bastian said. The surcharges will start on Nov. 1.
“The average hospital stay for covid-19 has cost Delta $50,000 per person,” he said in the employee memo.
“This surcharge will be necessary to address the financial risk the decision to not vaccinate is creating for our company. In recent weeks since the rise of the B.1.617.2 variant, all Delta employees who have been hospitalized with covid were not fully vaccinated.”
Delta said starting Sept. 30, only vaccinated employees will be provided covid pay protection in accordance with the state and local laws.
Earlier this year, the airline started requiring new employees to be vaccinated against covid.
Delta is the first U.S. company to levy a penalty to motivate workers to get vaccinated. Earlier this month, United Airlines said it will require its 67,000 U.S. employees to get vaccinated against covid no later than Oct. 25 or risk termination.
Alaska Airlines earlier this month told employees that it was considering requiring employees to be vaccinated against covid but that it would only do so after one of the vaccines received full approval.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave full approval to the Pfizer vaccine on Monday, becoming the first in the U.S. to win the coveted designation.
Photo: Delta Airlines B757 takeoff, May 30, 2018. Photo: Bernal Saborio / Flickr / CC
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