In a Sept. 21 memo first reported by WWMT in Michigan, a Pfizer executive reiterated that all U.S.-based employees and contractors must be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Nov. 15 unless they obtain a religious or medical exemption. The memo said employees are subject to disciplinary action, including the possibility of termination, if they do not comply with the policy.
Pfizer first announced its companywide vaccine mandate on Aug. 4. At the time, company officials said all U.S. employees and contractors were required to be vaccinated or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing.
A Pfizer spokesperson said the company has warned of potential disciplinary action for those who did not comply with the mandate since implementing the requirement. The company acknowledged the Sept. 21 memo noted employees could be fired if they are not vaccinated and do not have an exemption.
The spokesperson said Pfizer is still working to determine what form disciplinary action could take, adding the company would not necessarily fire all workers who remained unvaccinated after the Nov. 15 deadline.
Pfizer was the first company to receive FDA approval for their COVID-19 vaccine. In August, Pfizer spokesperson Pamela Eisele said the company’s internal vaccination policy was meant “to protect the health and safety of our colleagues and the communities we serve.”
In a separate employee memo dated Oct. 4, Pfizer informed U.S. employees of changes to its overtime policy. The company will shift its definition of overtime from hours tracked to hours worked, meaning that workers must exceed 40 hours on site per week to be eligible for time-and-a-half or double pay.
An employee who remained anonymous told WWMT the change would result in lower pay for some workers. The Pfizer spokesperson said the policy changes would not affect overtime pay rates.