Activision Blizzard Chief Administrative Officer Brian Bulatao (above) sent an email to all employees of the company earlier today, informing them that “with immediate effect” the editor was removing the requirement for employees working in offices of be fully vaccinated against Covid-19, and hope everyone will be working in person again in the coming weeks.
Bulatao says that as “businesses and other indoor locations across the United States lift vaccine requirements…we believe it’s important to align our site protocols with local guidelines.” The main reason for this is clearly employees’ desire to return to the “benefits of in-person collaboration” as early as June, although some employees also see the move as an opportunity to monitor staff more closely. as part of management’s anti-union efforts.
There is also a security risk; as the email states, “we know the situation is constantly evolving and we will continue to monitor the risks of COVID-19 in all areas where we operate,” which seems like a huge understatement when the New York Times spreads stories like “A new wave of Covid-19 is coming,” in part because the full immunization rate among American adults is still a relatively low 66%.
While the email says the company “will act quickly – and pivot if necessary – if we see a future spike in cases,” for those who cannot return to the office for health reasons, or who simply choose not to in the face of the dangers involved, the email states “you may have personal circumstances that you would like to discuss with your manager and HRBP.”WWe contacted Activision Blizzard for more information on this point.
You can read the email below, first shared by ABK Workers’ Alliance Jessica González:
March 31, 2022
Bcc: US employees
As conditions improve and we prepare to welcome you back to our offices, I would like to share an update regarding our vaccination policy. Effective immediately, we are lifting our vaccination mandate for all US employees. This means that employees no longer need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to return to the office.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen businesses and other indoor venues across the United States lift vaccine requirements, and we believe it’s important to align our site protocols with local guidelines. . While this policy change responds to our current state of the pandemic, we know that the situation is constantly evolving and we will continue to monitor the risks of COVID-19 in all areas where we operate. I encourage you to check out this FAQ, which should help answer your questions.
Although proof of vaccination is no longer required to return to the office, we ask that you continue to confirm your vaccination status in Workday by following this link. Having this information readily available will allow us to act quickly – and pivot if necessary – if we see a future spike in cases.
We recognize that returning to the office is different across our business units and even within our business units. We also recognize that different sites are in varying stages of return. While this change may not have an immediate impact on those still working remotely, we wanted to communicate it now so you have plenty of time to prepare.
Over the next few weeks, you will receive additional updates on what returning to the office looks like from your business unit or site manager. While we look forward to your return, we recognize that you may have personal circumstances that you would like to discuss with your manager and HRBP.
As we define what the future of work looks like, I want to remind us all of the benefits of in-person collaboration. In order to ensure that we all have a safe workspace where we can gather with colleagues and innovate together, it is essential that we remain committed to protecting ourselves and others.
Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time.