Citigroup Inc. will begin enforcing a previously-announced "no-jab, no job" policy as of Jan. 14, according to a source familiar with the matter, making it the first major Wall Street institution to implement a strict COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
The move comes as the financial industry, which has long-been keen to get back to business-as-usual, grapples with how to safely bring workers back to the office amid the spread of the highly infectious Omicron COVID variant.
While Citigroup is the first Wall Street bank to enforce a vaccine mandate, a handful of other major U.S. companies have introduced "no-jab, no-job" policies, including Google and United Airlines, with varying degrees of stringency.
Citigroup said in October it would require U.S. employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of their employment.
The bank said at the time it was complying with the President Joe Biden administration policy requiring all workers supporting government contracts to be fully vaccinated, as the government remains a "large and important" client of Citi, said Sara Wechter, head of human resources, in a LinkedIn post.
The bank will assess exemptions on religious or medical grounds, or any other accommodation by state or local law, on a case-to-case basis, the bank said at the time.
The source said the bank would begin enforcing that policy as of Jan. 14, but did not provide further details. The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday was hearing arguments over requests by Republican state officials and business groups to block that Biden vaccine mandate for employers with more than 100 workers.
Bloomberg first reported the Jan. 14 deadline on Friday. Citigroup will place workers who do not comply by then on unpaid leave, with their last day of employment at the end of the month, the news outlet reported.
More than 90% of Citigroup staff have so far complied with the mandate and that figure is rising rapidly, Bloomberg reported, citing a Citigroup spokeswoman.
Several financial companies have pushed back their return-to-office plans, while others are encouraging staff to work from home, get vaccinated, and do regular testing.
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