MGM Resorts has been one of the most patient companies when it comes to unvaccinated employees. It has also been one of the most adamant when it comes to enforcing vaccination rules and testing protocols for those who opt out of getting the jab.
Now, MGM CEO Bill Hornbuckle penned a new letter to Las Vegas employees on December 28, introducing new protocols for non-vaccinated hourly workers. Effective from January 10, such members of the MGM Resorts team will have to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing on their own time.
Weekly Testing on the Employee’s Own Time
The company will not be offering to cover their expenses relevant to testing. Any employee who has not been vaccinated and wishes to work on-site on MGM Resorts properties would need to show evidence of a negative coronavirus test every seven days.
The estimated cost as per Hornbuckle is $75 weekly, which tallies up to a substantial amount for workers, especially the part-time ones. No employee would be allowed to undergo on-site testing if they have clocked in, Hornbuckle.
This move may seem a little harsh and coercive, but MGM Resorts has spent months promoting the benefits of vaccination, still failing to appeal to certain team members. The wait time is over, it seems, and with Omicron surging across the United States, members of the team would need to comply one way or the other.
To save MGM employees some time, they can upload results directly in their MGM employee account, but rapid tests would not be acceptable due to their high inaccuracy rate. The only tests admitted would be antigen or PCR tests in a lab.
Hornbuckle Compassionate with Employees Plight, But Action Needed
Hornbuckle never used discriminatory language in any of his previous or current statements talking about non-vaccinated members of the MGM staff. If anything, he argued that everyone has a choice in the matter.
However, with COVID-19 cases surging once again, “the time to take action” is now, the chief executive argued. All of MGM’s protocols for unvaccinated protocols so far have been introduced with the sole purpose to protect everyone, whether this is guests, fellow workers, or those same team members’ families from the unintentional spreading of COVID-19.
Hornbuckle appealed to fellow team members’ better nature and urged them to “protect yourself and those whom you love. Please get vaccinated,” the executive said. “Those of you who are fully vaccinated – get a booster shot,” he continued.
However, not everyone is happy with the mandates. According to one social media user who was responding to a Twitter message under Las Vegas Locally, a media outlet, he had contracted COVID-19 even though he had been vaccinated.
“Quit creating classes of workers based on fallacies,” the user wrote under the publication. While Phil’s objection is understandable, it’s also wrong. COVID-19 vaccines have a limited efficiency as their protection wears off gradually, much like anti-flu vaccines become weaker by the next flu season.
However, vaccines are necessary to avoid a health care calamity and crisis. As we choose not to take the jab, many people who also need medical healthcare cannot get it because our hospitals are overrun. While it’s ultimately a choice whether to take the jab, Hornbuckle and MGM Resorts understand the urgency of the situation.