CitiBank to Sack Unvaccinated Workers This Month

Citigroup was the first big Wall Street firm to issue a strict COVID-19 vaccination requirement. The corporation is ready for action as the deadline approaches.

Non-compliant employees will be put on unpaid leave until the month’s end, according to a memo reviewed by Bloomberg.

Some workers will be qualified for year-end bonuses, but they must sign an agreement not to sue the firm to get the money, the message added.

“You are invited to apply for other opportunities at Citi in the future,” the statement declared.

High Percentage of Compliant Staff

Reports said Citigroup staff acted lawfully for US employees, providing religious or medical exemptions.

While that figure continues to climb, the firm faced shifting municipal regulations and public pushback from a few workers, reflecting the national vaccination debate.

A Citigroup spokesman verified over 90% of employees complied with the guidelines, but declined to elaborate.

Citigroup’s move to compel immunizations among around 70,000 staff is worth monitoring as omicron roils America’s return-to-office preparations and occupational vaccine regulations are contested in court.

While competitors like Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase have immunization mandates, staffers may opt out if they don’t come into the workplace.

Citigroup’s decision to mandate shots is complicated by the company’s widespread presence throughout the country.Β Due to geographical differences, regulations and political perspectives vary.

A broad private sector mandate applies in New York City. Meanwhile, governors in Florida and Texas have aggressively opposed mandatory vaccinations.

Mixed Reaction

In late October, Citigroup declared all US workers must be properly vaccinated, citing a presidential order from Joe Biden. While the injunction was later challenged in court, the bank went through with its plan.

While office staff have until January 14 to conform, branch employees have been given a separate deadline.

The bank enlisted medical specialists to educate personnel, held town halls with HR management, and awarded incentives to vaccinated employees. It also paid for the shot recipients’ time off.

 

According to workers, employees shared tactics for getting exemptions in secret chat rooms. Others were more vocal. Ben Shittu, an employee of Citigroup’s HR department in Ireland, slammed the order on YouTube.

A vaccination mandate and prospective dismissals of core members of the team pushed Mr. Shittu to create the video. “I want you to understand you are not alone if you are worried or feel betrayed by your managers.”

Since publishing the video, Mr. Shittu claims he has been approached by hundreds of Citigroup workers in the US. It has almost 9,400 views.

Vaccine mandates have not resulted in mass staff defections. According to a Willis Towers Watson poll, resignations have risen just 3% among employers with mandates.

United Airlines Holdings and Tyson Foods, two early adopters of comparable policies, claimed near-perfect compliance.

Police unions in New York said a city requirement would remove thousands of cops from the streets. After the deadline, fewer than 30 were put on leave.

Employers now face a new challenge: the fast proliferation of omicron. Infections have risen, making the requirement less appealing to workers already wary of the shot.

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