McDonald’s is fighting the pandemic by paying U.S. corporate employees and employees at company-run locations to get the COVID-19 vaccination.
The fast food giant will give those who get vaccinated four hours of paid time. McDonald’s does not require employees to be vaccinated, but it does promote vaccination and connect employees with trusted third-party experts to provide vital information and answer any questions they have.
“Vaccinations are vital in the fight against the pandemic and we actively encourage McDonald’s employees to take this important step,” said Tiffanie Boyd, US chief people officer of McDonald’s, in an email sent to QSR Explanation. “We’ll be giving four hours of paid time to the crew at McDonald’s US company restaurants and UScorporate employees receiving the vaccine. To ensure widespread availability and access to the vaccine, exceptional partnerships between businesses, governments, and community and health organizations are required. We are working with government officials and our partners to understand where McDonald’s can further support this work. “
Since the pandemic began, McDonald’s has updated nearly 50 processes to ensure the safety of workers and consumers, and has issued a 59-page guide that outlines national standards for restaurants. These standards include wellness checks, protective barriers, adhering to social distancing guidelines for customers and crew, the use of gloves and masks, increasing the frequency of hand washing, and switching to contactless surgeries. Every restaurant has a sufficient supply of PPE. More than 110 million masks were distributed to employees.
McDonald’s isn’t the only big brand that incentivizes employees. The parents of Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse, Darden Restaurants, said they paid two hours for each dose of the vaccine. The full-service company made the move so that workers would not have to take their paid sick leave. Other chains like Yum !, the parents of Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Habit Burger, and KFC, and Chipotle told CNBC they wouldn’t require vaccinations. Starbucks, which is helping introduce vaccinations in Washington state, has not yet decided how to approach vaccinations for employees.
According to the CDC, restaurant workers are advised to receive Phase 1c vaccination, which comes after key frontline workers, first responders, teachers, grocery store workers, and anyone over the age of 75. It is believed that more than 70 million are in Phase 1a and Phase 1b. Each state has its own schedule based on the CDC recommendations, so it is unclear when restaurant workers across the country will have their turn.