Delta Airlines announced earlier today that it would begin fining employees who are unvaccinated, becoming the first U.S. company to use a monetary penalty to encourage immunization.
via: The Hill
In a memo Wednesday, Delta CEO Ed Bastian announced unvaccinated employees on the company’s health care plan will have to pay a $200 monthly surcharge beginning Nov. 1.
“The average hospital stay for COVID-19 has cost Delta $50,000 per person,” Bastian wrote.
“In recent weeks since the rise of the B.1.617.2 variant, all Delta employees who have been hospitalized with COVID were not fully vaccinated,” he said.
Unvaccinated employees are now required to wear masks indoors and will face weekly testing beginning Sept. 12. On Sept. 30, the company’s pay protection program will only apply to breakthrough cases.
Bastian said 75 percent of Delta employees have already been vaccinated against the virus.
The move comes as the full federal approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine Monday led to new vaccination mandates by government entities like the military, and private businesses are expected to follow suit.
Following approval of the vaccine, President Biden urged the private sector to ramp up requirements that would result in the vaccination of millions more people as cases are once again surging across the country.
Naturally, people had opinions. More than a few questioned Delta’s ability to penalize workers for their personal health choices:
Delta CEO Ed Bastian speaks on the company’s decision to charge employees who are unvaccinated against COVID-19 a $200 monthly fee.pic.twitter.com/XT1i3fPoas
— Suburban Black Man ?? (@goodblackdude) August 25, 2021
BREAKING: Delta Air Lines says unvaccinated employees must pay $200 per month surcharge for health insurance. pic.twitter.com/Lye141Oed9
— Sam Sweeney (@SweeneyABC) August 25, 2021
Not sure how I feel about this. Does this open the door to charging higher rates for people with other issues? Or for someone who didn’t get a HPV vax or a flu shot?
— TheAnna (@TheAnna94305830) August 25, 2021
JUST IN – Delta Air Lines will impose a $200 monthly fee on unvaccinated employees starting Nov. 1, becoming the first major U.S. company to levy a penalty on vaccination status (CNBC)@disclosetv
Second class citizens here we come#RejectTyranny
— Voices Against Tyranny, Michigan (@VATMichigan) August 25, 2021
Look I fully get and agree that private companies should be able to mandate whatever the hell they want but do they have to just be straight up petty?
— Will DiBattista (@WillyDiBa7) August 25, 2021
Others applauded the company for making an effort to improve vaccination rates among its employees (currently around 75% of Delta employees are vaccinated.)
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) August 25, 2021
It's pretty fascinating to watch the folks who always scream that, "businesses have the FREEDOM to make their own choices," absolutely lose their shit over Delta Air Lines choosing to charge unvaxxed employees an additional $200 per month for their health insurance.
— Jake Lobin (@JakeLobin) August 25, 2021
Delta Air Lines is charging an extra $200 a month for health insurance for unvaccinated employees starting 11/1/2021. pic.twitter.com/mSaypvZ7k4
— Mayo (@MayoIsSpicyy) August 25, 2021
Delta Air Lines will raise healthcare premiums an extra $200 per month for all unvaccinated employees. About time there’s a penalty for ignorance.
— anyone_want_chips (@anyonewantchips) August 25, 2021
It's time for insurance companies to deny coverage to the unvaxxed.
— QuietRioter?? (@AllThatsWell) August 25, 2021