McDonald’s Will Require Vaccines for Corporate Employees

The fast food giant became the latest US company to mandate vaccine requirements.

McDonald's at Ohio State University, Columbus, OH. | Courtesy of McDonald's
McDonald's at Ohio State University, Columbus, OH. | Courtesy of McDonald's

As COVID-19 continues to pose a danger to public health, McDonald’s became the latest national company to implement vaccine requirements. On August 11, it announced that all corporate employees must get vaccinated.

According to the Wall Street Journal, McDonald’s corporate employees will have until September 27 to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The company also pushed back its in-office return date from September 7 to October 11. Employees at corporate offices will all be required to wear masks, even after they are vaccinated. McDonald’s restaurant workers will not be required to get vaccinated, though the corporation is giving those employees four hours of paid time off to get the shot.

In a note to employees, McDonald’s Global Chief People Officer Heidi Capozzi outlined the reasoning for imposing the requirement. “A resurgence of infections caused by Covid-19 variants has many of us uneasy,” Capozzi said. “We’ve heard from many of you that you would feel more comfortable returning to the office if you had more certainty your colleagues were vaccinated.”

There have been more than 35 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States since the outbreak began. Cases are picking up again with the rise of the Delta variant, which is believed to be more contagious. In the US, more than 167 million people have received the full dose of the vaccine (about 50% of the population), which has been largely successful against infections.

McDonald’s is one of several major corporations to require vaccines for at least some employees. Google, Walmart, Disney, Twitter, and Netflix have all implemented various vaccine requirements in recent weeks. The vaccine requirements accompany a renewal of mask mandates. McDonald’s, along with Starbucks, are two national chains that recently announced mask requirements inside of establishments. Other restaurants and indoor establishments now require proof of vaccine for entry, and New York requires proof of at least one dose of the vaccine for entry.

Want more Thrillist? Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat.

Opheli Garcia Lawler is a staff writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @opheligarcia and Instagram @opheligarcia.