Activision Blizzard ends and quickly reinstates employee vaccination requirement

Activision Blizzard has reversed its decision no longer require proof of vaccination from employees as part of their return-to-office plan. The company announced its initial plan to employees on Thursday, according to tweets from employees and reporting by Jason Schreier for Bloomberg.

Jessica Gonzalez, founding organizer of the best ABK employee advocacy group, shared the initial email to employees announcing the end of the proof of vaccination requirement on Twitter.

In the email, Activision Blizzard managing director Brian Bulatao attributes the decision to improving COVID numbers and allegations of similar moves by other unnamed companies. Bulatan concluded by stating “the benefits of personal collaboration”.

Response from Activision Blizzard employees was swift and largely negative. The situation around Covid-19 remains fluid, with subvariants and potential outbreaks already threatening the current drop in cases in the United States, leaving such an action as a potential security risk for employees as they are encouraged to return to clerical work.

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A better ABK was threatening a standstill on Monday, April 4, when Bulatao sent another email, reversing the decision and leaving vaccination requirements to individual offices.

It’s yet another outbreak between Activision Blizzard’s leadership and its own employees, with the ongoing sexual harassment scandal inform these developments. Furthermore, the broader debate behind major companies’ back-to-office initiatives lingers behind the granular issue of proof of vaccination.

The pandemic era has seen multiple setbacks in the gaming industry and companies across all sectors of the economy have experienced work-from-home growing pains. However, many workers appreciated the possibilities for comfort and work-life balance that came with the change, especially as remote management practices became more refined.

At the same time, leaders of many companies are keen to bring back a more traditional work environment, citing issues of efficiency and workplace culture alongside less emphasized motivations such as long leases or investment in office space, as well as easier surveillance of employees. .

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