Salesforce to welcome vaccinated employees back to office

Salesforce laid out a back-to-office plan on Monday for vaccinated workers, making it one of the first major U.S. companies to give vaccinated workers preferential treatment over those who have not taken the shot.

According to the plan, vaccinated employees can volunteer to go back to the office in groups of 100 or less at the software company's San Francisco headquarters and other offices across California.

On-site COVID-19 testing will be provided and required twice a week.

Tech companies are some of the first to warm-up to going back to the office now that the vaccination rollout in the U.S. is going strong.

But the idea of giving preference to employees who have been vaccinated is a hot-button issue amid a growing societal debate in the U.S. and abroad over so-called vaccine passports, with rights experts warning that a push for identity proofs and digital certificates risks excluding poorer and more vulnerable groups.

Some industries are already pushing for mandatory proof in order to get back to business. Norwegian Cruise Line said all crew and passengers will need to be vaccinated before it starts cruising again. It hopes the move will help convince U.S. health authorities to lift a ban on sailings still in effect.

Salesforce isn't going that far. It says it will eventually welcome back unvaccinated workers, but until it does, employees who want to continue to work from home can do so at least through December.