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COVID: Intel Tells Unvaccinated Employees They Face Unpaid Leave As Deadline Approaches

SANTA CLARA (AP) — Intel has told workers that unvaccinated people who don't get an exemption for religious or medical reasons will be on unpaid leave beginning in April.

The semiconductor company headquartered in Santa Clara told employees last month they had a Jan. 4 deadline to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or seek an exemption, citing a government mandate for federal contractors.

The constitutionality of broad government mandates is up in the air. A federal court in Georgia blocked the contractor mandate earlier this month, but the government is appealing.

Intel is for now leaving its policies in place, the Oregonian/OregonLive reported.

"We are closely monitoring the legal environment and expect it will take time for the case in Georgia, as well as other similar cases, to be fully resolved," Intel said in a statement.

In a Dec. 7 memo to employees, Chief People Officer Christy Pambianchi told employees the Jan. 4 vaccine deadline remains in place.

She wrote that employees who aren't vaccinated must seek a medical or religious accommodation and submit to weekly testing, regardless of whether they are still working remotely.

Intel will review employees' exemption requests until March 15. Pambianchi said employees who don't receive an exemption will begin unpaid leave on April 4 for at least three months but "will not be terminated."

She said Intel will continue providing health care benefits to unvaccinated employees on leave.

© Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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