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Citi announces it will require all U.S. employees to be fully vaccinated

October 28, 2021, 5:47 PM UTC

Citi on Thursday announced it’s implementing a vaccine mandate. All U.S.-based employees will need to be vaccinated in order to maintain their employment with the financial firm. 

“As it has become crystal clear that COVID-19 will not be going away any time soon, our leadership at Citi has thought long and hard about how we navigate the latest stages of the pandemic,” Sara Wechter, head of human resources, wrote on LinkedIn on Thursday. “We have made the decision to require U.S.-based colleagues to be fully vaccinated as a condition of employment.”

Citi, which implemented the mandate in part to comply with new federal contractor rules, is asking that employees be fully vaccinated by Jan. 14, 2022. That is a slightly longer timeline than the orders President Biden put in place last month that require federal contractors to vaccinate employees by Dec. 8, 2021. On Friday, White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeffrey Zients indicated that officials may offer flexibility when enforcing the federal contractor vaccine mandate.

“Understanding that there are a range of views about vaccine mandates, this decision was made with careful consideration and analysis, but it came down to two key factors: First, as the U.S. government is a large and important client of Citi, we have an obligation to comply with the executive order issued by the White House mandating that individuals supporting government contracts be fully vaccinated—an order that would impact the vast majority of our U.S. colleagues. Second, having a vaccinated workforce enables us to ensure the health and safety of our colleagues as we return to the office in the U.S.,” Wechter wrote. 

Citi said it will assess on a case by case basis all requests for religious, medical, or any other accommodation required by state or local law. Additionally, Citi will be offering employees paid leave in order to get their vaccine.

Although the official deadline for federal contractors’ vaccine compliance is Dec. 8, the mandate requires employees to be fully vaccinated, which is typically considered to be two weeks after the final vaccine dose is administered. For those looking to get a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, that means they’ll need to build in time for two doses, as well as the recommended waiting period between doses. For Pfizer, that’s 21 days, and it’s 28 days for Moderna.

That means employees would have already needed to get their first dose of Moderna this week and or get their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine by Nov. 3. (If they miss those deadlines, workers could always opt for a last-minute, one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.)

Already at least one employee has called out Citi’s mandate, saying on LinkedIn that decision on whether to get vaccinated or not “should be left in hands of an individual.” Other employees praised the announcement.

Correction, Oct. 28, 2021: A previous version of this article misstated Citi’s deadline for vaccinations. It is Jan. 14, 2022.

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