Citigroup Sticks With Its Covid-19 Vaccine Mandate, While GE Drops Its Rules

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The two US companies are heading in opposite directions after the Supreme Court on Thursday blocked the Biden administration’s rule that large employers require their employees to get vaccines or be tested.

Citigroup, which has about 65,000 employees in the United States, said it had reached 99% compliance a day before the bank’s Jan. 14 deadline to vaccinate American workers or request residency on medical or religious grounds.

“Our goal has always been to keep everyone at Citi, and we sincerely hope all of our colleagues take action to comply,” the company’s director of human resources, Sarah Wechter, said in a LinkedIn post Thursday after the Supreme Court ruling.

The bank previously told employees that anyone who remains unprotected will be given unpaid leave, according to people familiar with the matter. People said their work would be finished on January 31st. On Saturday, after a wave of last-minute vaccinations, about 150 employees were put on furlough, one person said. They can keep their jobs if they comply by the end of the month.

General Electric has suspended remaining Covid-19 vaccine requirements.


Photo:

Alwyn Scott / Reuters

Citigroup and GE announced vaccine requirements for US employees in October, after the Biden administration said large employers and government contractors would be required to enforce vaccination mandates. Both companies regard the US government as an important client.

At the beginning of 2021, GE had about 56,000 employees in the United States, and I initially told them they were required to get vaccinated or seek religious or medical housing by early December. That policy was suspended in December after a court challenge temporarily suspended the rule for federal contractors.

The manufacturer was still requiring US employees to show proof of vaccination or to undergo testing under the White House’s mandate for companies with more than 100 workers, until the Supreme Court blocked the policy on Thursday.

A spokeswoman said GE on Friday suspended its remaining Covid-19 vaccine requirements. The company said most US employees have been vaccinated and is on track to comply with the federal contractor’s executive order before the court order.

write to Thomas Gryta at thomas.gryta@wsj.com and David Benoit at david.benoit@wsj.com

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