ORLANDO, Fla. – The Walt Disney Company will require all non-union salaried and hourly cast members based in the U.S. to get the COVID-19 vaccine, the company announced Friday.
All salaried and non-union hourly employees working at any Disney site in the U.S. will need to be fully vaccinated. Cast members will have 60 days from Friday to comply and new employees must be vaccinated before starting their employment. Verification of vaccination must be provided, according to a statement.
The decision comes as the theme park began requiring masks again for guests due to the most recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and rising COVID-19 cases. Face coverings are now required for all guests ages 2 and up while indoors, on attractions, or on transportation at the theme parks.
“At The Walt Disney Company, the safety and well-being of our employees during the pandemic has been and continues to be a top priority. Toward that end, and based on the latest recommendations of scientists, health officials and our own medical professionals that the COVID-19 vaccine provides the best protection against severe infection, we are requiring that all salaried and non-union hourly employees in the U.S. working at any of our sites be fully vaccinated,” The Walt Disney Company said in a statement.
It’s unclear what this means for union workers.
“We have also begun conversations around this topic with the unions representing our employees under collective bargaining agreements,” Disney’s statement said.
Disney World is the largest company in Central Florida, employing more than 58,478 cast members, to require vaccines.
This week Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings announced all county employees will need to be inoculated.
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