Wellmark is prepping employees to return to the office early in the first quarter of 2022. An email sent to staff earlier this month revealed some of the plans.
The company said it “intends” to be as flexible as the law permits in implementing the federal vaccine requirement.
“As an example of this flexibility, while we still don’t have an official date from the federal government for when the vaccine requirement will be effective, Wellmark has determined that employees will be required to be fully vaccinated by Jan. 1, 2022, and not any earlier,” the email said. “We felt it was important to provide our employees with clarity about the timeline as well as a reasonable amount of time to comply with the law.”
Wellmark told staff the vaccine requirement applies to all employees, even those working remotely.
“While Wellmark strongly supports vaccination as a safe and effective way to combat the spread of COVID-19, it was not Wellmark’s decision to require our employees to be vaccinated,” the company said. “However, as a company that does a significant amount of business with the federal government and operates in a heavily regulated industry, we have no choice but to comply with the law.”
The company also said weekly testing is not an option for Wellmark employees.
“Because we are a federal contractor, we have stricter requirements in order to comply with the law,” the email said.
All employees are eligible to receive a $100 vaccine incentive and receive paid time off if they receive the vaccine during work hours.
Despite Wellmark saying weekly testing is not an option, the company is offering exemptions.