PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Nike is mandating all office-based employees receive a COVID-19 vaccination.
In a statement sent to KOIN 6 News on Tuesday morning, Nike says all employees coming back to the office must be fully vaccinated to support “the effort to bring people safely back to their workplaces.” The company currently anticipates bringing employees back in person to all Nike office locations by January 10, 2022.
This is the first time Nike has confirmed any COVID-19 vaccine requirements will be in place.
In September, KOIN 6 News reached out to Nike, Adidas and Intel — all major players in the Pacific Northwest who have either previously said they’ve encouraged vaccination but had stopped short of mandating it, or have remained silent on the topic.
Tim Boyle, the CEO of Columbia Sportswear, said he was thrilled with the White House’s decision to issue sweeping vaccine mandates for federal employees and said Columbia Sportswear has been a big advocate for vaccinating workers.
“We want to make sure that vulnerable people are covered and that, frankly, we can get back to a more normal way of life, a more normal way of working, and that’s only going to happen if we have a high rate of vaccination,” he said.
Boyle said the company has for months tried numerous incentives to encourage its roughly 3,000 local employees to get the shot but not all workers have participated.
“We have to allow for religious exemptions sure, but we have to be vaccinated to come back to work and get ourselves, the state and country back to 2019 as we all remember,” he said. “I would assume most businesses would want to get back to normal.”