Employees at Alliant Energy received an attached communication last week that contradicts communication they received on May 21.
The May 21 communication said, in part, “vaccination status is private medical information. We will not ask about your status.”
Two months later the company has changed its tune.
On Thursday, July 15, corporate communications sent out a message with the subject “Action required: A message from your Executive Team – Update to our mask guidelines.”
The email was provided to all employees for their information and action.
“We are now well into the vaccination phase of this pandemic,” the email says. “Prior to vaccination, our Time – Distance – Shielding protocols, in combination with hygiene and disinfecting, were effective in preventing spread of the virus to unvaccinated individuals. Together, we worked in this manner for over a year with a great deal of success – most notably, an infection rate much lower than the general population.”
The shielding component, the email says, was one key to success — the use of masks, which are now considered Personal Protection Equipment.
Here is the interesting part, which is in bold:
“As part of our commitment to one another and our responsibility to ensure that work is being completed safely, all employees will be required to certify their vaccination status in order to remove their mask while at work.”
Alliant Energy said CDC guidelines state proper PPE requires wearing a mask for those who are not vaccinated or do not certify they are vaccinated.
“In addition, those who are not vaccinated or do not certify they are vaccinated need to practice physical distancing when indoors or in crowded outdoor spaces,” the email adds.
A link is provided where employees are required to certify their vaccination status to remove their masks while at work.
“An employee should not work without a mask and distancing until confirming they are vaccinated in ERP,” the email says.
The email states the company is not asking anyone to share proof of vaccination and trusts employees to “do the right thing” when completing the form.
The link that directs employees to the ERP system where employees are required to certify vaccination status has the following statement:
“Please be aware that you have no reasonable expectation of privacy regarding communications or data transiting or stored on this private system. At any time, and for any lawful purpose, Alliant Energy or any of its affiliates may monitor, intercept, record and search any communications or data transiting or stored on this information system. At Alliant Energy’s sole discretion, it may disclose pertinent information to the U.S. Government and its authorized representatives to protect the security of critical infrastructure and key resources, to ensure information security, or to comply with any applicable law, regulation, legal process or enforceable government request. By using this system, you agree to and understand these terms.”