Skip to content
Connect
Stories

Will Delta air lines’ $200 surcharge for unvaccinated employees pay off?

People in this story

(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)
a Delta Airlines pilot wears a face mask to help prevent the spread of the new coronavirus as he walks through a terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta.

Delta Air Lines recently announced that its employees are required to get a COVID-19 vaccine, or face a $200 per month increase in their health insurance premiums. But the penalty may not actually help the company mitigate the risk of spreading SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, say two Northeastern scholars.

There’s a moral reason: Imposing a surcharge on employees who don’t get vaccinated may help Delta cover its increased health insurance costs, but if unvaccinated employees are willing to pay it, they’re still exposing other employees and airline customers to greater risk of infection, says Patricia Illingworth, professor of philosophy and business at Northeastern.

There’s also a purely logistical reason: Employees might not be willing to pay. And the penalty leaves Delta Air Lines on shaky legal ground, says Gary Young, professor of strategic management and healthcare systems. Delta’s policy will be phased in over the coming months: Unvaccinated employees will immediately be required to wear masks indoors on company property. Then, on Sept. 12, they’ll be required to test weekly for the virus, and isolate if the results are positive. On Nov. 1, the $200 monthly health insurance premium surcharge will go into effect.

Continue reading at News@Northeastern.

More Stories

Hundreds of people stage a demonstration against Xi Jinping's zero-Covid policy at Liangmaqiao district in Beijing, China on Nov. 27, 2022. The Chinese government has faced unprecedented dissent protests in several cities, including Urumqi, Shanghai, and Beijing.

Mass protests may ease covid restrictions in China but won’t lead to any democratic freedoms, Northeastern experts say

12.02.2022
CHEROKEE, NC - MAY 11: A Native American poses for pictures along the highway on May 11, 2018 in Cherokee, North Carolina. Located near the entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the North Carolina side of the Appalachian Mountains, and at the southern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway, the region is home to the Cherokee Nation band of Indians.

Words—and tribal location—matter to citizen of Cherokee Nation

11.30.2022
A general view of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) headquarters, in Washington, D.C., on Monday, September 19, 2022.

The Department of Homeland Security, ‘not set up for success,’ navigates rocky 20 years. How are things today?

12.02.22
News@Northeastern