Walmart announced Friday that people who are fully vaccinated no longer have to wear masks inside stores.
The company also said in a letter to employees that it will pay them $75 to get the coronavirus vaccine.
Read the full letter below:
We’re encouraging all associates to get vaccinated and help end this pandemic.
Do it for your health, your family, your friends, your community and your country – let’s help reach our national vaccination goals by the Fourth of July.
Today, we’re excited to share two more reasons why: a cash bonus and no masks.
First, we’re providing $75 to U.S. field associates as a thank you for getting vaccinated.
This applies to all current U.S. field-based Walmart, Sam’s Club and Supply Chain associates (hourly and salaried) below the level of store manager.
It applies to everyone who has already been fully vaccinated and those who get vaccinated in the future.
You will need to provide proof that you’ve been vaccinated (the process begins Tuesday, May 18, and at scheduled times thereafter; more on that below), and the $75 will be added to your paycheck after it is processed.
Second, based on the latest CDC guidance, fully vaccinated associates will not need to wear a mask at work starting Tuesday, May 18.
According to the CDC, it is safe for fully vaccinated people to stop wearing masks in most indoor and outdoor settings.
“Fully vaccinated” means it has been two weeks since a person received the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna or the single dose of Johnson & Johnson.
This applies to all facilities, including our stores, clubs, distribution centers, fulfillment centers and offices. We’ll share more information next week with campus office associates.
Unvaccinated associates must still wear face coverings, per CDC guidance. We are also reviewing whether masks may still be required for certain job codes for health and sanitation purposes and will share additional guidance soon.
Some associates may choose to continue to wear masks, and as part of our value of respect for the individual, we should all support their right to do so.
Beginning today, vaccinated customers and members are welcome to shop without a mask, and we will continue to request that non-vaccinated customers and members wear face coverings in our stores and clubs. We will update the signage in our facilities to reflect this.
Masks will also continue to be required by some city and state ordinances, and we will follow those requirements. There may also be local conditions, regulatory changes or laws that affect our guidance.
We will be communicating with your local store, club or facility management team as regulations change so they can keep you informed.
Getting vaccinated is free and it’s easy to do. We offer vaccines in all of our more than 5,100 Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies, as well as through special events.
You can make an appointment through the schedulers, or you can simply walk into the pharmacy to get your shot. You can be vaccinated while on the clock or receive two hours of paid time off to do so, whether at our locations or elsewhere.
We also provide up to three days paid leave for adverse reactions to the vaccine.
So how do you demonstrate you’re fully vaccinated?
To be eligible to work without a mask, associates need to answer “yes” to the vaccination question in the daily health assessment. (Health assessments will continue for all associates.) If you are not vaccinated, we expect you to answer “no” and to continue to wear a face covering. Integrity is one of our core values, and we trust that associates will respect that principle when answering.
To receive the bonus, you will need to show your original, completed vaccine card for visual inspection to your People leads in stores, HR managers in DCs/FCs and Merch/Compliance ASM or Club Manager in clubs to confirm you have been vaccinated. Management will then process a one-time payment.
We will begin this process next Tuesday, May 18. We’re also working on a new digital solution that should let us move away from answering the daily vaccination question in the health assessment in the future for vaccinated associates.
These are positive developments. We can do this. We’ve been through a lot this year, and now we need to do our part to finish this. We encourage you to get vaccinated and to tell your friends and fellow associates. Thank you to all of you who have already chosen to make a difference and thank you to all of you who will choose to do so now.
Thank you for all you do to serve our customers and members, our communities and take care of each other.