DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. said Wednesday it will require most of its salaried employees in the U.S. to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Dec. 8, in line with the Biden administration's deadline for federal contractors.
"The health and safety of our workforce remains our top priority and we have been very encouraged by the support of our employees to comply with our protocols, including the more than 84 percent of U.S. salaried employees who are already vaccinated," a spokeswoman said in a statement. "As we continue to put measures in place to protect our team, Ford will now require most U.S. salaried employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Dec. 8, which also aligns to federal contractor guidelines."
The news was first reported by Detroit radio station WWJ.
Previously, the automaker had encouraged its U.S. workers to get the shots but had not mandated it, aside from certain employees who travel internationally. So far, the Detroit 3 have not required U.S. unionized factory workers to receive the vaccine, and the UAW has said it has not tracked how many members have been immunized. But in Canada, the U.S. automakers are moving forward with a vaccine mandate at their plants despite the call from the Unifor union for a pause.
The automaker said it was continuing to evaluate its policy for employees in manufacturing locations, parts depots and Ford Credit, including analyzing federal and collective bargaining requirements.
Ford has delayed return-to-office plans for its salaried work force until January.