Walt Disney World's unions have reached an agreement with Disney management to abide by the company's Covid vaccine requirement.
Disney announced last month that it would require all salaried and non-union hourly employees to be vaccinated in order to work on site at any of its locations across the country. However, Disney cannot unilaterally impose work conditions on its union employees - that's the whole point of employees having a union, after all. So the company and its unions needed to negotiate an agreement.
They have that now. Under the agreement published today by the Service Trades Council Union, all employees working on-site at the Walt Disney World Resort must be fully vaccinated by October 22. To be fully vaccinated, you must be two weeks past your second shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or your single dose of the Johnson & Johnson.
Disney will be hosting on-site vaccine events over the next several weeks to accommodate cast members who have not received their free vaccinations yet. Called sick dates due to immediate side effects of the vaccine will be waived.
Employees with medical conditions or sincerely held religious beliefs that prevent their vaccination will be eligible to apply for an accommodation, however they will have to provide documentation from their medical provider or explain the nature of the religious belief, practice, or observance to Disney management. Accommodations, if granted, may require transferring to another, open role within the resort, and Disney management reserves the right to meet with an employee's medical provider or spiritual leader to discuss the need for the accommodation.
In other words, there's no easy, automatic opt-out for anti-vaxxers.
Employees who do not show full vaccination or arrange an accommodation by October 22 may be separated, though with a positive rehire status, in case they do end up getting vaccinated later.
For guests, all this means that if you visit the Walt Disney World Resort on or after October 22, you can be reasonably assured that the cast members you encounter there will be fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
(Now, if only we could assure the cast that all of Disney's visitors would be fully vaccinated by then, too.)
* * *
We wanted you to read this article before we make our newsletter pitch, unlike so many other websites. If you appreciate that - and our approach to covering theme park, travel, and entertainment news - please sign up for our free, three-times-a-week email newsletter. Thank you.