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Citigroup will enforce “no-jab, no-job” policy from January 14 – source




January 7 (Reuters) – Citigroup Inc (CN) will begin enforcing a previously announced “no-jab, no job” policy from January 14, according to a source familiar with the matter, making it the first major Wall The street institution that implements a strict covid-19 vaccine mandate.

The move comes as the financial industry, which has long been keen to return to business as usual, is fighting over how they can safely bring workers back to the office amid the spread of the highly contagious Omicron coronavirus variant.

Other major Wall Street banks, including Goldman Sachs & Co (GS.N), Morgan Stanley (MS.N) and JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), are asking unvaccinated employees to work from home, but have not yet gone as far as to terminate the employment relationship.

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While Citigroup is the first Wall Street bank to enforce a vaccine mandate, a handful of other major US companies have introduced “no-jab, no-job” policies, including Google and United Airlines, with varying degrees of rigor.

Citigroup said in October that it would require U.S. employees to be vaccinated as a condition of employment, but did not say when it would begin enforcing the new policy.

The bank said at the time that it followed the policy of Democratic President Joe Biden’s administration, which requires all workers who support public contracts to be fully vaccinated, as the government remains a “large and important” client of Citi.

Citigroup will consider exemptions for religious or medical reasons, or other accommodation in accordance with state or local law, on a case-by-case basis, the bank said at the time.

The source said that the bank would start enforcing this policy from January 14, but did not provide further details.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday heard arguments over requests from Republican government officials and business groups to block a Biden vaccine mandate for employers with more than 100 workers.

Bloomberg first reported Citigroup’s deadline of January 14 Friday. Citigroup will place workers who do not comply with it by then on unpaid leave, with the last working day at the end of the month, the news agency reported.

More than 90% of Citigroup employees have so far complied with the mandate, and that number is rising rapidly, reported Bloomberg, quoting a Citigroup spokeswoman.

Many finance companies have pushed back plans to return to the office and encourage employees to get vaccinated and boosted, but have so far avoided vaccine mandates for legal reasons.

“This is going to be a challenging and complex policy to implement. The problem here is that there are a number of different laws that weigh into this,” said Chase Hattaway, a partner at law firm RumbergerKirk, noting both federal and anti-discrimination laws as well as a patchwork of state regulations.

“Citi will have to tailor its policy to state legislation, and in many cases cities and municipalities will also have different regulations, which may require even more deviations,” Hattaway said.

BIDEN MANDATES

The Biden administration has used regulations to require companies with at least 100 employees to require vaccination or weekly testing of employees.

An increasing number of US companies have used vaccine requirements to protect employees and operations from disruption.

United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby said last month that the airline fired 200 of its 67,000 employees for non-compliance with the mandate.

Many hospitals have fired staff for failing to comply with mandates, which have been imposed on the health sector in more than 20 states.

While some companies such as Tyson Foods Inc (TSN.N) have gotten more than 96% of their employees to get a vaccine, they in the construction industry have resisted vaccine mandates due to fear of employee resistance in the midst of a very tight labor market.

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Reporting by Niket Nishant in Bengaluru and David Henry in New York; Additional reporting by Tom Hals; Author by Michelle Price; Edited by Amy Caren Daniel, Nick Zieminski and Jonathan Oatis

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.



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