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COVID vaccine required for employees at Tyson Foods; incentives also offered

Food company re-established production site in Richland County in early 2021

COLUMBIA, S.C. — One of the world's largest food companies, Tyson Foods Inc., announced Friday that it will require employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccination by Nov. 1 and is offering incentives to frontline team members across the United States.

Tyson re-established the company's production plant off Bluff Road in Richland County in early 2021, hiring about 300 workers.

In a memo, Tyson also said fully vaccinated team members will receive $200 as a thank you, and more than $6 million in employee sweepstakes will be given away to incentivize vaccinations.

Effective Jan. 1, 2022, fully vaccinated employees can begin earning up to 20 hours of paid sick leave per year while new hires will receive one week of vacation after six months of employment. This move comes as the food giant recently added referral and signing bonuses as well as other compensation improvements. The company is also piloting flexible work schedules at production facilities.

Tyson reports more than 75% of the company's workforce (more than 90,000 people) have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as of Sept. 3. The company already provides paid administrative leave for up to two weeks for employees who are fully vaccinated and test positive for COVID-19 in the next six months.