Citi will follow through on its threat to fire office workers who don’t comply with its Jan. 14 deadline to upload their vaccination card showing proof of inoculation against COVID-19 or request an exemption. Unvaccinated employees will be placed on unpaid leave Jan. 15 and will be terminated Jan. 31, Bloomberg and The New York Times reported Friday.
Branch workers were given a separate timeline, Bloomberg reported.
Some affected employees will be eligible for year-end bonus payments, but they must sign an agreement indicating they won’t pursue legal action against the company, according to a memo sent to employees.
“You are welcome to apply for other roles at Citi in the future as long as you are compliant with Citi’s vaccination policy,” the bank wrote.
In an October LinkedIn post detailing Citi’s decision, the bank cited President Joe Biden’s executive order requiring everyone who supports government contracts — and anyone who works in the same offices as those employees — to be fully vaccinated.
The bank said it would give a $200 “thank you” to employees who provided proof of vaccination by Dec. 8, according to an earlier memo. The Jan. 14 deadline was meant to give unvaccinated workers extra time to get their shots, Bloomberg reported.
More than 90% of Citi’s workers have complied with the policy — a proportion that is rising quickly, a bank spokesperson told the wire service, declining to comment further. The rule allows for employees to apply for religious or medical exemptions, Bloomberg reported, citing anonymous sources.
Biden’s order has faced legal challenges, but the bank has kept its deadline. Enforcement — considering Citi’s wide footprint and the variety of local and state rules by which employees must abide — may be a challenge. So, too, may be the tracking of data.
“It’s extremely onerous for employers,” Melanie Paul, equity principal and co-leader of the workplace safety and health practice group at the law firm Jackson Lewis, told Bloomberg. “A lot of employers that are just waiting to see what the Supreme Court does before they go ahead and roll out their plans.”
A November survey by Willis Towers Watson found 3% of employers with vaccine mandates have experienced a spike in resignations.
Still, some Citi employees have been vocal in their concern. “I have been compelled to make this video in direct response to the enforcement of a vaccine mandate and possible terminations of core team members and U.S.-based employees within Citigroup,” Ben Shittu, a Dublin-based employee in Citi’s human-resources division, said on YouTube. “For those of you that are extremely concerned or feel like you have been failed by your managers, I would like you to know that you are not alone.”