Redfin Delays Reopening, Mandates Shots for Workers

Woman getting vaccinated

©Andriy Onufriyenko - Getty Images

More companies—including real estate brokerages—are requiring their employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 before heading back into the office. Redfin announced Tuesday that it was pushing back its reopening date for its headquarters and field offices, and when employees do return to the office, they must be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. Those who haven’t been fully vaccinated must work from home at least until infection rates are lower.

Return-to-work plans are being revisited as the highly contagious COVID-19 delta variant quickly spreads across the U.S.

Redfin told the Puget Business Journal that even as its offices remain closed, its outside events will continue and real estate agents can still meet with home buyers in person at a home. Redfin, based in Seattle, employs more than 4,100 people.

Related Cos., a New York–based real estate firm, also recently announced that it is requiring its 4,000 employees to get vaccinated—at least one shot—by Aug. 31 or be fired. Related Cos. extended its mandate to employees beyond just its headquarters offices to those who work throughout its commercial and residential buildings.

Many companies are bringing back mask mandates too, given the updated guidance by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the vaccinated and unvaccinated.

Real estate companies are following the lead of other businesses. Microsoft announced Tuesday it would require proof of vaccination for employees returning to its U.S. offices. Google, Facebook, Lyft, Slack, Disney, and more also have told employees they must be vaccinated.

“I hope these steps will give everyone greater peace of mind as offices reopen,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in a statement.

Guidance published by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says that employers can require employees to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine and show proof of vaccination, such as a vaccination card, before coming onsite. But there are some legal parameters to follow for companies implementing such measures. Read more from the National Association of REALTORS®: COVID-19 Guidance for Workplace Vaccination Policies.