Alaska Airlines and its sister business Horizon Air unveiled new COVID-19 vaccine incentives and guidelines on Thursday in an effort to increase immunization rates among employees.
Unlike United, Hawaiian, and Frontier Airlines, Alaska has not yet made vaccination mandatory for current employees. Instead, the corporation is rewarding people who get immunized with a $200 payout and imposing conditions on those who don’t.
“We feel that vaccinating as many individuals as possible is the greatest way to defend against COVID-19, and we will continue to vigorously encourage our employees to be vaccinated,” Alaska stated in a statement.
The business also stated that “special COVID pay” for pandemic-related absences for unvaccinated personnel who become ill or are exposed will be withdrawn.
According to The Seattle Times, they may use sick leave or vacation time if they have it. “All unvaccinated employees will also be required to engage in a vaccine education program,” according to the business.
Vaccination is now required for all prospective employees at the airline, and “those employees who present proof of vaccination will be recognized with a $200 payment.”
According to Alaska Airlines, 75% of employees who shared their status are vaccinated, but “there is still work to be done.” As a result, it is “implementing new steps targeted to raise immunization rates and enhance our multi-layered approach to safety,” but without a mandate.
Employees who have been vaccinated will not have to be quarantined if they are exposed, and if they suffer a breakthrough infection, they will be given paid time off, according to The Seattle Times.
Despite the emergence of the Delta variety, several airlines and companies have continued to modify vaccination requirements. United Airlines declared that employees in the United States must be vaccinated against COVID-19 by late October, with Hawaiian following suit by demanding inoculation by November 1.