NEW YORK — Delta Air Lines plans to make health care more expensive for its employees who won’t get vaccinated against COVID-19, according to CEO Ed Bastian, who shared a memo with employees Wednesday.
In the letter, Bastian wrote that those who have not been vaccinated will immediately be required to wear masks indoors. Starting Sept. 12, employees will have to take weekly COVID tests, which the airline will pick up the cost of.
Additionally, beginning Sept. 30, unvaccinated workers will lose pay protection if they test positive for the virus and need to miss work. Finally, starting Nov. 1, any employee who remains unvaccinated will have to pay an additional $200 per month to remain on the company’s health care plan.
“With this week’s announcement that the FDA has granted full approval for the Pfizer vaccine, the time for you to get vaccinated is now. We can be confident that the Pfizer vaccine is safe and effective and has undergone the same rigorous review for other approved medications to treat cancer and heart disease, as well as other vaccines” Bastian wrote in the letter.
Delta Air Lines did not go as far as United Airlines, which will require employees to get vaccinated or face termination. Delta said 75% of its workers are already vaccinated.
Both Delta and United required new hires to be vaccinated. Other airlines were encouraging workers to get the shots, but stopped short of requiring it.