Nearly all of Citigroup’s employees have complied with a companywide vaccine requirement ahead of a key Friday deadline.
The big bank reached a 99 percent compliance rate among US staffers prior to the deadline, according Sara Wechter, Citigroup’s head of human resources. Citi employees were told to provide proof of vaccination or exemption by Jan. 14 — or face termination.
“This level of compliance helps us create a safer workplace, protect your families and our communities, and ensure continuity of our business operations,” Wechter said in a LinkedIn post.
Citigroup issued a companywide memo last week warning staffers of the jab-or-walk deadline, the Post previously reported. The policy is one of the most stringent on Wall Street, though the bank is considering exemptions on religious or medical grounds and state-level accommodations on a case-by-case basis.
Workers who did not supply proof of vaccination or secure an exemption by Friday will be placed on unpaid leave and fired at the end of the month, the memo said.
Citi first established a vaccination requirement last October, though it was not initially clear if workers who did not comply would be fired. At the time, Citi pointed to the Biden administration’s requirements for federal contractors to mandate vaccinations, noting the government was a “large and important” client.
In its memo, Citi said some employees who did not meet the vaccine requirements could still be eligible for year-end bonuses — if they agreed not to pursue legal action to obtain the payouts.
Wechter said Citi expects its compliance rate to tick even higher ahead of the deadline.
“Going into the last day, we expect the number of employees who have not complied will decrease even further,” she added. “Our goal has always been to keep everyone at Citi, and we sincerely hope all of our colleagues take action to comply.”
Citi maintained the requirement despite the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down President Biden’s vaccine mandate for large companies with 100 or more employees.
Banks are again rethinking their return-to-office plans as the Omicron variant drives a surge in new COVID-19 infections. Earlier this week, Goldman Sachs delayed its return plans by two weeks.
Citi also reported fourth-quarter earnings on Friday. The bank’s shares were lower in early trading after reporting that net income declined dropped 26 percent to $3.2 billion.