Chip giant Intel has told employees that unvaccinated staff who don’t have an exemption for religious or medical reasons will be on unpaid leave beginning in April.

The company told employees last month that they had until January 4 to be vaccinated against Covid-19 or seek an exemption. Per the Associated Press, the company cited a government mandate for federal contractors to be vaccinated, but the mandate is currently being fought by a federal court in Georgia.

Intel HQ, Santa Clara.jpg
– Sebastian Moss

“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.

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

Those that do receive an exemption will require weekly testing, even if they work remotely.

The decision follows a similar move by Google, which gave employees until January 18 to get vaccinated. If they don't, they will be placed on “paid administrative leave” for 30 days. Following that, they will be placed on “unpaid personal leave” for up to six months, followed by termination.

Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and HPE are among a number of companies requiring staff and contractors to be vaccinated before entering their offices.

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