January 26th Letter to Micron and Response
Updated: Apr 25
Micron Employees for Religious Freedom
P.O. Box 190204 Boise, ID 83719
Jan 26, 2022
April Arnzen Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer
8000 S Federal Way MS:1-557 Boise, ID 83716
Via U.S. Mail and email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Ms. Arnzen, I write on behalf of employees who have religious objections to Micron’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement to avail them of the open invitation you extended in your testimony before the Idaho Senate State Affairs Committee on November 17th, 2021 to “directly” contact and meet with you. As you are aware, concerns of some Company employees with respect to these matters were expressed in a previous letter to Micron (the “Company”) November 15th, 2021. The Company responded on November 19, stating, “We cannot discuss, in a group setting, individual team member situations and concerns, but that individuals who have any concerns about any work conditions are urged to raise such concerns to [their] direct management or People Business Partner or to contact Employee Relations at email@example.com.” However, the continued imposition of the Company's vaccination requirement does itself directly affect each and every Company employee. On September 3, 2021, the Company gave notice that it was requiring “all U.S. employees, plus all U.S. contractors who must work inside our buildings to conduct their jobs, to be vaccinated against COVID-19.” Further, the Company stated that, “Any U.S. employee (without an approved accommodation exemption for religion or disability) who chooses not to complete a full vaccine regimen by Nov. 15, 2021, will no longer be permitted to work for Micron following that date.'' In your 11-17-21 testimony, you confirmed that the Company had amended said termination policy: “We do have a small number of team members, it is about 60 employees in Boise, that have chosen not to vaccinate and have not requested an accommodation. And as I mentioned, they have not been terminated, they are still Micron employees. We have extended the date until the end of January for them to consider vaccinations, but they will go on an unpaid leave during that time. But again, we are not terminating them at this time.” Your testimony about the extension is supported by wording in the Micron Playbook regarding COVID-19, which states: “As conditions improve, these protocols will be relaxed according to site risk level and regional government requirements.” Based on this flexible Company policy and your testimony, we have deferred further communication regarding our concerns (given the extended deadline) in order to assess what “improvements” might in the meantime occur that could affect the Company policy regarding the vaccination requirement. One major legal condition compelling a vaccination requirement has disappeared with the U.S. Supreme Court’s injunction of the OSHA vaccination mandate. Beyond that, “conditions” have substantially evolved and “improved” in that it is generally acknowledged that the pandemic is rapidly becoming an “endemic” situation in which a vaccination mandate becomes excessive. Please see: “The False God of Central Planning: The Mysterious Reappearance of the Flu, Natural vs Vaccine-Induced Immunity, the Inability of the Vaccine to Control the Virus, and Other Extraordinary lessons About the Pandemic (Investigative Report)” (https://www.juliusruechel.com/2022/01/the-false-god-of-central-planning.html). As you may be aware, in light of these changing circumstances, that other major companies have reversed their vaccination mandates. For example, industrial conglomerate General Electric Co. has done away with its vaccination requirement. Additionally, Starbucks is no longer requiring its U.S. workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, reversing a policy it announced earlier this month. Starbucks cited as its reason the ruling by the United States Supreme Court enjoining the OSHA mandate. The company is respectfully urged to embrace the inevitable movement of COVID-19 from “pandemic” to “endemic” and treat these employees the same as those employees who have been vaccinated. Accordingly, the Company is requested to rescind the vaccination requirement for U.S. employees. The employees on behalf of whom this letter is written are loyal Micron employees, who have sincerely held religious beliefs which preclude them from receiving the available COVID-19 vaccines, and who believe in the Company’s culture of diversity, equality, and inclusion. In keeping with this culture and the Company’s stated positions referenced above, we hope and anticipate that the Company will rescind the vaccination requirement
Sincerely, Ben Chafetz, President Micron Employees for Religious Freedom An Idaho Unincorporated Non-Profit Association
The letter above was delivered via email from Brennan Hopkins to April on behalf of Micron Employees for Religious Freedom. April's response was directed to Brennan directly on Feb 3rd, 2022
Feb 3rd, 2022
Hi Brennan, Yes I did invite any team member to contact me directly with questions so I am glad you have done exactly that. And thank you for sending the letter and the issues and concerns you have raised. We certainly appreciate how difficult the pandemic has been for all Micron employees, including you and your colleagues. I want to assure you that Micron’s priority throughout the pandemic has been and continues to be the health and safety of all team members, as well as you and your colleagues individually. As you know, a significant part of our approach to accomplish this objective has been to implement a mandatory vaccination policy that we have consistently applied to all employees, subject to approved medical and religious accomodations.
In your case and in the case of some other employees, we have received various individual requests for accommodation based on religion and/or medical issues. Please know that we understand and have considered your individual request and unique circumstances, as we have done for all other employees that have submitted accommodation requests. Further, we continue to be willing to discuss such requests and our response with each Micron team member individually in order to respect the confidentiality of issues concerning their employment. Should you or others have any questions, please contact the employee relations team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With regard to the OSHA ETS and the ruling issued by the U.S. Supreme Court, our U.S. vaccine policy remains unchanged as it was announced prior to and independent of the OSHA ETS. Further, consistent with CDC guidance, Micron believes that vaccination is the single best defense against COVID-19, and our mandate continues to be an important step for the health and safety of all team members, their families and our communities. Micron does not have any plans to change this policy at this time, and we have moved forward with terminating the employment of team members that have not provided proof of full vaccination, have not submitted a request for a medical or religious accommodation, and whose jobs require them to work on-site.
Again, we appreciate the issues and concerns you have raised, and we will continue to move forward in a manner that we believe best provides for the health and safety of all Micron team members.
April Arnzen she/her pronouns SVP and Chief People Officer Human Resources Office +1 208 368 5661